T20 Women’s World Cup Tips

The 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup promises to be the best one yet with host nation Australia the favourite to win the World Cup.

Our Cricket Analysts have delivered their tournament preview and will have T20 World Cup Tips for selected games and all of the finals throughout the three weeks.

Go where the value is for the T20 World Cup and head to the Betfair Exchange.


March 8, 6:00pm MCG

Match Overview

India will be looking for a maiden T20 World Cup crown, whilst defending champions Australia will be hoping to secure their fifth title when the two teams meet in the final at the MCG on Sunday night.

India qualified for their first ever final in this competition when their semi-final against England was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain in Sydney on Thursday afternoon. However few could begrudge them their place in the big dance having remained unbeaten in a strong Group A which including a 17-run win over their opponents on Sunday to open the tournament.

Their success has been built on power at the top of the order from 16-year-old prodigy Shafali Verma (161 runs at an average of 40.25 and strike-rate of 161.00), while in the field it has been more of a collective effort with five of the six bowlers used conceding no more than a run a ball, while four are averaging under 20.

Later on Thursday Australia managed to defy the rain and South Africa in the second semi-final having made a testing 5/134 batting first off the back of an unbeaten 49 off as many deliveries from captain Meg Lanning.

Showers at the break saw the Proteas’ target adjusted to 98 off 13 overs and although they remained within range for the majority of the chase they were eventually kept to 5/92, handing the Aussies yet another narrow victory as spearhead Megan Schutt showed her experience by picking up 2/17 off three overs.

The hosts are yet to really hit their straps in this tournament and whilst there were some signs of improvement in the field against South Africa, I just cannot justify how they are such short-priced favourites against a high-flying India side who I fancy will be lifting the trophy on Sunday evening.

Key Stats

  • India have won five of their past six T20Is.
  • Australia have lost three of their past five T20Is against India.
  • In this tournament India have five available bowlers with an economy rate of 6.00 or better, whilst Australia only have one.

Betting Strategy

  BACK – India at 2.60 or bigger for 1 unit.

Australia

The warm favourites and defending champions are gunning for a fifth title, however they are not without their flaws. Although they have lost only two of their past 11 matches there are serious concerns over the form of 2018 player of the tournament Alyssa Healy who failed to reach double-figures in five knocks in the recent tri-series following on from a similarly unconvincing finish to the WBBL.

Fellow superstars Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry also flattered to deceive with the bat in the tri-series, while there are also concerns regarding Australia’s lack of finishing power, though vice-captain Rachael Haynes did her best to dispel that notion with a rapid contribution in the final against India. Thankfully for the Aussies left-handed opener Beth Mooney is in superb touch, as is talented ball-striker Ashleigh Gardner who could yet be deployed further down the order if required.

One of the home side’s key strengths is their pace attack with young-gun Tayla Vlaeminck joining frontline quicks Perry and Megan Schutt, while experienced spin-bowling all-rounder Jess Jonassen reminded selectors of what she is capable of by claiming 5/12 in the tri-series decider.

There is still one spot in the attack that has yet to be nailed down with the likes of Nicola Carey, Delissa Kimmince and surprise selection Annabel Sutherland all jostling for a position, however there was no room in the squad for seamer Belinda Vakarewa despite a dominant WBBL.

Although there are undoubtedly some question marks hovering over the favourites, their ability to get over the line whilst playing below their best, most recently exhibited in the tri-series, remains unmatched and with plenty of improvement left in the squad, it would be foolish not to have the hosts onside for the tournament.


England

The inaugural champions back in 2009, England have since been defeated three times in the final, on each occasion by their fierce rivals Australia and so they will be hoping to go one better than two years prior when they were comfortably accounted for in Antigua.

The Three Lions have retained a settled squad with plenty of experience featuring the likes of captain Heather Knight, pace bowler Katherine Brunt, wicket-keeper Amy Jones, all-rounder Natalie Sciver and stroke-maker Danielle Wyatt, all of whom not only have vast exposure at international level but have played multiple seasons in the WBBL so are familiar with conditions in Australia.

That didn’t necessarily count in their favour during the tri-series where they were edged out of the final by Australia and India with Knight the only batter to pass 50 on multiple occasions, however, there were more promising signs from their bowling attack with Sciver and seasoned left-arm orthodox spinner Sophie Ecclestone both averaging 18.00 at an economy rate shy of 6.50 over the course of the competition.

In England’s favour is that they have been placed in clearly the weaker group, avoiding their tri-series foes as well as a capable New Zealand outfit, although it is likely that they’ll have to get past the hosts if they are to lift the trophy and they have beaten the Aussies just twice in their last eight T20I encounters.

With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise to see England breeze through their group before coming unstuck against classier opposition where their inferior power hitting is likely to be exposed, so they look an excellent back-to-lay prospect for the tournament.


India

As far as talent goes India is perhaps the only side who can match the hosts with a handful of match-winners, though depth and hence consistency remains a key problem. They pushed the Aussies all the way in the tri-series, defeating them in a group game before perishing in the final despite looking in control at various stages.

Excitement machine Smriti Mandhana further enhanced her reputation with a prolific tournament, including a blistering 66 off just 37 balls in the decider, while fellow opener Shafali Verma exhibited her explosiveness with 17 boundaries from the 74 balls she faced throughout the competition. However, the Indians’ lack of proven run-scorers outside of the top two is a major issue with captain Harmanpreet Kaur regularly required to hold the middle-order together.

There is also a lopsided feel to their bowling attack with spinners Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma showing themselves to be highly effective in Australian conditions, however pace bowlers Shikha Pandey and Arundhati Reddy were too timid and too expensive respectively, allowing the opposition a pressure release after the slower bowlers had worked hard to gain the ascendancy.

India remains a volatile prospect with their sprinkling of stars capable of taking their side all the way if they catch fire at the right time, but equally if they fail to find their best form they could just as easily crash out of what is a very competitive group. Overall I will be adopting a wait and watch approach with India but as a trading strategy throughout the tournament, you should be well served getting with the likes of Mandhana, Kaur and Sharma, whilst opposing the lesser lights in their XI.


New Zealand

New Zealand have failed to make the semi-finals just twice in six editions of this tournament but they face a tough task getting through Group A with heavyweights Australia and India standing in their way. Their form has been strong enough with resounding series victories over India and South Africa since the last World T20, though both those series’ were played at home.

Nevertheless skipper Sophie Devine has been nothing short of immense, averaging an incredible 71.57 from her last eight T20I innings including six fifties and a stunning century against the Proteas at Wellington in addition to being the highest run-scorer at the WBBL. Fellow top-order batter Suzie Bates has also been in the runs, averaging 45.25 from her last six knocks, although unlike her skipper she only had a middling Big Bash campaign.

With the ball medium-pacer Jess Kerr looks a real find and could well play alongside sister and leg-spinner Amelia who starred as a 17-year-old at the last tournament. The fearsome Lea Tahuhu returns after a short break from the international scene, while the adaptable Hayley Jensen provides further balance to a side already brimming with all-rounders.

Much like their male counterparts, the White Ferns enter the competition with little fanfare which could well work in their favour, although they may need to alter their approach on the larger Australian grounds.

Aside from the stronger group, the main concern I have with New Zealand is their record on foreign soil where they have won just two of their past nine matches so whilst I don’t wish to take them on I’d need a bigger price before wanting to be with the Kiwis.


South Africa

Although their recent record is unconvincing South Africa loom as a dark horse in this year’s tournament with enough proven match-winners to cause a shock. At the top of the order the destructive Lizelle Lee has been struggling to find her best form at international level but she did enjoy a fruitful WBBL for the Melbourne Stars, racking up her second century in that competition along the way.

Vice-captain Chloe Tryon was another player who enhanced her reputation during the WBBL, scoring her runs at an incredible strike-rate of 178.41, while Sune Luus, Mignon du Preez and skipper Dane van Niekerk are all world-class middle-order players, each with experience in Australia’s domestic competition.

Admittedly South Africa don’t boast the same amount of quality in their bowling attack but they are boosted by the return of spearhead Marizanne Kapp who has played only one of the Proteas’ past 11 T20Is, while Shabnim Ismail provides plenty of raw pace and was impressively economical for the Sydney Thunder.

Although the South Africans do lack some class with the ball outside of those two, they do have the added advantage of contributing overs form the likes of Luus, van Niekerk and Tryon who can help to plug any holes should one of their frontline bowlers prove expensive.

For whatever reason South Africa has never quite managed to put it all together on the international stage, but given the talent at their disposal and the fact they are in the weaker group they look impossible to ignore at the price.


West Indies

Champions in 2016, the West Indies find themselves at the lower end of the market after a shocking run of form in which they have lost their last nine fixtures in this format. From their more successful days the star trio of Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and captain Stefanie Taylor remain, though it remains to be seen whether they can catapult their side into contention.

Prior to suffering a shoulder injury, Dottin did her upmost to justify her ‘World Boss’ moniker, plundering 259 runs from her last six T20I innings, including a brutal unbeaten 90 against Pakistan 12 months ago. The skipper has also been in decent form, averaging 38.00 from her last six knocks, while Matthews has been largely absent due to disciplinary issues, though her most recent returns against India were underwhelming.

All three players do have experience playing in the WBBL, however, outside of Taylor’s two games, none played this season which is a concern, along with the lack of proven run-scorers further down the order. However, the biggest query over the Windies is their bowling attack with the likes of Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell and Afy Fletcher all needing to improve significantly if they are to be a chance.

Furthermore, the selection of all-rounder Lee-Ann Kirby, who hasn’t played for the Windies since 2008, smacks of panic and so whilst I wouldn’t lay a dangerous unit at such a big price I have no interest in backing the Calypso Queens at this stage.


Pakistan

Although a much-improved outfit Pakistan have still won only one of their past five T20I series’ and that was against fellow strugglers Bangladesh. Granted they did push South Africa all the way in a 3-2 series loss last May and given that they have beaten the Proteas six times they’ll be happy to share a group with them in place of other highly-credentialed sides.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Pakistan without a selection and leadership scandal which has claimed the highly-experienced Sana Mir who was omitted after taking a recent break from international cricket. 28-year-old left-hander Bismah Maroof is the new skipper and she will need to lead from the front in more ways than one as she is the only batter to average over 40 for Pakistan in this format in the last 12 months.

Star all-rounder Nida Dar will also be a key contributor, especially given her experience playing for Sydney Thunder in the WBBL this summer, whilst the Pakistanis will be hoping that Aliya Riaz can blossom into an expert finisher.

Another typically Pakistani attribute is the preparedness to rely on youth and that is evident here via the selections of 15-year-old Ayesha Naseem and 16-year-old Syeda Aroob Shah, though the bowling attack is more likely to lean on medium-pacer Diana Baig and left-arm orthodox Anam Amin.

In order to progress to their first-ever semi-final Pakistan are likely going to have to beat both South Africa and the West Indies and whilst I believe they can be competitive in both matches I don’t have the requisite faith to trust that they can get across the line in both matches.


Sri Lanka

It’s difficult to see Sri Lanka having too much of an impact on this tournament when they have won just one of their past 19 T20Is. Their jewel in the crown is opener and captain Chamari Atapattu who Australian crowds will remember well after she murdered 113 off 66 balls against the Aussies last summer in what proved to be a losing cause.

In 2019 Atapattu scored a remarkable 31% of Sri Lanka’s runs in T20Is, highlighting their reliance on the skipper, with veteran Shashikala Siriwardene the only other batter to score more than 100 runs in the calendar year. The Lankans did suffer a scare on the eve of the competition when medium-pacer Achini Kulasuriya was stretchered off after being struck in the head during fielding practise in Adelaide on Sunday, however Atapattu confirmed that she would only miss one warm-up match and be fit to start the tournament proper.

With such underwhelming recent returns Sri Lanka have turned to largely untried youth with uncapped 20-year-old Sathya Sandeepani joining 18-year-old opener Umesha Thimashini and 19-year-old all-rounder Kavisha Dilhari in the squad in place of some of the more seasoned members of the side.

But however, they shuffle the decks the prospect of Sri Lanka making such a leap forward that they win more than one match looks a fanciful one and so they are deserving of their large price.


Bangladesh

This will be Bangladesh’s fourth foray into the World T20 with only one victory to show for their troubles which came against Sri Lanka in their first appearance back in 2016 by the bare margin of three runs.

The Tigresses appear to be stuck between grades with regular defeats to the likes of Pakistan and South Africa sandwiched between victories over lesser likes such as Ireland, Netherlands and Thailand, though they did shock India in the final of the 2018 Asia Cup.

Any hopes they hold of causing a further surprise will fall on ‘keeper-bat Nigar Sultana who has averaged an impressive 44.14 since the start of 2019, while middle-order stroke-maker Fargana Hoque has an innings of 110 not out off just 53 balls under her belt, albeit against the lowly Maldives. 26-year old seamer Jahanara Alam will lead the attack which will also feature pace bowler Panna Ghosh and leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed, both of whom have recovered from recent injuries to reclaim their spots in the squad.

Captain Salma Khatun will need to do plenty of heavy lifting with both bat and ball, though realistically Bangladesh will be targeting their final group game against Sri Lanka at Junction Oval as the one where they may just record their second-ever victory in this tournament, but until then they will likely prove to be cannon fodder for the stronger sides.


Thailand

Thailand qualified for their first major ICC tournament courtesy of overcoming Papua New Guinea in the semi-finals of September’s qualifying tournament, having already finished ahead of Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia in the group stage.

Prior to that their high point came when they stunned Sri Lanka in the 2018 Asia Cup, scraping home off the final ball to record their first-ever win over a full member side. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t expect too much of a team who have played the vast majority of their matches against relative minnows, albeit generally with great success as they hold the record for the most number of consecutive T20I victories with 17.

Their players to look out for are middle-order duo Naruemol Chaiwai and Nattakan Chantam, who alongside captain and opener Sornnarin Tippoch will be responsible for dragging Thailand to competitive totals. In the field, off-spinner Nattaya Boochatham, leggie Suleeporn Laomi and seamer Chanida Sutthiruang have each taken in excess of 30 wickets in the past year with the latter named ICC Emerging Player of the Year in December.

By merely qualifying Thailand will provide a great story for the tournament but they are set to be severely outclassed on the pitch by highly superior opposition. Their ambition will lie in just being competitive so they are quite rightly a monstrous price, therefore if you have a bank bigger than mine you could quite comfortably lay them at four figures but I can think of better ways to use your money in the meantime.


Betting Strategy

BACK – Australia at $1.60 or bigger for 3 units.

BACK to LAY – England at $5.00 or better for 1 unit (trade out at 3.25 or bigger).

BACK – South Africa at $15.00 or better for 0.5 units.

Game 1 – Aus v Ind

LAY to BACK – Australia at $1.38 or better for 2 units (trade out at $1.85 or bigger).

Game 2 – NZ v SL

BACK – Sophie Devine Top New Zealand Bat at 2.25 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 3 – Eng v RSA

BACK – South Africa at 3.10 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 4 – Aus v SL

BACK – Chamari Atapattu Top Sri Lanka Bat at 2.75 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 5 – Ind v Ban

BACK – Shafali Verma Top India Bat at 3.50 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 6 – WI v Pak

LAY to BACK – West Indies at 1.35 or better for 1 unit (trade out at 1.85 or bigger).

Game 7 – Ind v NZ

BACK – New Zealand at 2.35 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 8 – Aus v Ban

BACK – Alyssa Healy Top Australia Bat at 3.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 9 – Eng v Pak

BACK – Bismah Maroof Top Pakistan Bat at 4.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

LAY to BACK – England at 1.15 or better for 1 unit (trade out at 1.50 or bigger).

Game 10 – NZ v Ban

BACK – Suzie Bates Top New Zealand Bat at 4.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 11 – Ind v SL

BACK – Chamari Atapattu Top Sri Lanka Bat at 2.50 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 12 – SA v Pak

 BACK to LAY – Pakistan at 8.00 or bigger (trade out at 4.25 or better).

Game 13 – Eng v WI

  BACK  – England at 1.20 or bigger for 3 units.

Game 14 – SL v Ban

  BACK  – Bangladesh at 4.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 15 – Aus v NZ

  BACK  – New Zealand at 4.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

Game 16 – WI v SA

  BACK  – Hayley Matthews Top West Indies Bat at 3.00 or bigger for 1 unit.

SF2 – SA v Aus

  BACK  – South Africa at 3.80 or bigger for 1 unit.


Current Results

Total Units Staked: 21.00

Total Units Returned: 25.55

ROI: 21.64%


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