Australia Women are aiming for a fourth World T20 title    Getty Images
Australia Women are aiming for a fourth World T20 title Getty Images

Australia Women and England Women lock horns in an Ashes clash in the first semi-final of ICC Women s World T20 2016 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Wednesday. Both sides entered the tournament as world s top two teams with Australia on the No. 1 spot as per ICC Team Rankings. The Southern Stars and England will be led by their regular Twenty20 International (T20I) skippers, Meg Lanning and Charlotte Edwards respectively. While the Southern Starts have a loss and three wins from four group stage matches, the English Women are yet to face a defeat in this Women s World T20. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs England, 1st Semi-Final, ICC Women’s World T20 at Delhi

The English skipper Charlotte has termed their win against Pakistan in their final group game to be their best victory in this tournament. England had opened the Women s World T20 with an easy win against Bangladesh and that was followed by very close encounters against the likes of India and West Indies. England had restricted the West Indians at 108 in 20 overs. Although the target was not huge, West Indies Shaquana Quintyne and Afy Fletcher almost defended that total for their side. England s seven batters were dismissed for a single digit following the dismissals of their openers, Charlotte and Tammy Beaumont early in the innings. Eventually, middle-order batter Heather Knight remained unbeaten on 19 off 42 to help her side cross the line.

That match exposed the weakness of the English women against spinners and the Southern Stars have to take advantage of that in the knockout match on Wednesday. The likes of Kristen Beams, Erin Osborne and Jess Jonassen come into the picture for Southern Stars. Along with them their highest wicket-taker so far in the tournament, Megan Schutt will also be expected to trouble the opposition. Erin was rested for Australia Women s previous match against Ireland due to injury but is expected to return to complete the spin attack of Southern Stars.

Meanwhile, England made several changes for their last round clash with Pakistan. Vice-captain Heather sat out due to illness, replaced by all-rounder George Elwiss, but Heather will return for the semi-final clash.In England s spin department; Lauren Marsh will play a huge role. She arrived in India a couple of days earlier as an injury replacement for Danielle Hazell came in for slow left-armer Rebecca Grundy and made an immediate impact, with career-best figures of 3-12.

The English side will once again depend on their skipper for the majority of their runs. Charlotte is currently the second highest run getter in this edition of Women s World T20 with 171 runs off four innings. Meanwhile, the Southern Stars are in a good position as other than Meg there are other batters contributing consistently. The Australian fate has been revolving around the performances of the likes of Ellyse Perry and Meg but with others chipping in as well, it is just strengthening their side.

While England who won the inaugural edition of Women s World T20 in 2009, the Southern Stars have won the next four and are well in a position to challenge for a record fifth title.


Southern Stars likely XI: Elyse Villani, Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Alex Blackwell, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Rene Farrell, Megan Schutt, Kristen Beams

England s likely XI: Charlotte Edwards (c), Tammy Beaumont, Sarah Taylor (wk), Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver, Lydia Greenway, Dani Wyatt, Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Anya Shrubsole, Laura Marsh

Time: 14:30 local time |09:00 GMT

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is do only what you enjoy. Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)