Photo Credit: ICC
Logically, only four countries can advance to the semi-finals, but six have a chance: the World Cup for women in New Zealand is unprecedentedly exciting.
the Netherlands is missing; after all, the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in November 2021 was interrupted by the arrival of the omikron variant of the corona virus. Subsequently, World Cup participation was determined by the ODI ranking at that time. The most unlucky one was Thailand, which at the time was leading in Group B. Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies now made their appearance.
The latter country impressed by beating both New Zealand and reigning champions England, but later collapsed by losing to last-placed Pakistan.
The level is higher than, say, ten years ago, but also quite volatile. Australia barely managed to beat England in a fine game with high scores (310-298), but there are also games where a low total is just chased. Queens of the vicissitudes are the Windies, who alternate beautiful moments (google for ‘brilliant catch Deandra Dottin’) with mediocre performances. It seems like the Windies are running out of steam as the tournament progresses and long-term stamina is at stake.
England, on the other hand, is taking the opposite route. The reigning world champion lost the first three games, but then profits followed, so that the British are back in the picture for the last four.
How is the situation now? Australia stands out with the full win. The attack is not very deadly – Ellyse Perry, among others, lost it for a while, bowled many wides and lost speed – but even if they get 270-plus, it is invariably chased, with lead roles for Meg Lanning and Rachael, among others. Haynes.
South Africa, India, Windies, England and New Zealand still have a chance of a place in the last four. England are performing better since they made some changes (notably offspinner Dean). New Zealand is struggling with injuries for Leah Tahuhu and the crucial Sophie Devine.
My educated guess (for what it’s worth) is that (in addition to the already seeded Australia) we will see South Africa, India and yet England again in the semi-finals and that Australia will become world champions.
Remaining matches in the Group Stage:
ZA v WI
Eng v Pak
BD v Aus
NZ v Pak
Eng v BD
Ind v ZA