Must-win CWC22 clash awaits for New Zealand and England
- Match 19: New Zealand Women v England Women
- Eden Park, Auckland
- Sunday 20 March, 11:00 Local Time
Eight group stage points may well be required to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in New Zealand, and both the tournament hosts and Sunday’s opponents England know that they need to win this and their remaining matches in order to make that eight-point target.
It was a fixture against the White Ferns that sent England through to the last four of the 2017 Cricket World Cup, a tournament that they went on to win of course, and victory in Auckland would go a long way to putting them into the semis again five years on, with winnable fixtures against Bangladesh and Pakistan to come.
And England’s recent record against New Zealand is good too, with a 4-1 series win coming the last time these sides squared off in English conditions last summer.
Losses at the start of the tournament to Australia, West Indies and South Africa have put huge pressure on England to win all of their remaining games in the group stage if they want to have a chance to defend their trophy. And veteran bowler Anya Shrubsole says that the scenario has given the side an extra element of motivation.
“I think we want to win every game of cricket that we play - we're here representing England, and we take a huge amount of pride in that and we're here to win every game that we play,” Shrubsole said.
“But I guess we're motivated by wanting to put some things right that we feel like we haven't achieved in this tournament so far, and everyone will individually have their own, I guess, their own motivations.”
New Zealand have suffered defeats to the same three opponents as England, with losses to West Indies, Australia and South Africa setting up this head-to-head clash at Eden Park.
And the two-wicket last-over loss to the Proteas last time out was particularly frustrating for the White Ferns, with captain Sophie Devine saying her team just need to sharpen up for the final group stage matches.
“I think we've played good cricket probably 70 - 80% of the time,” Devine said. “It's just that final 20%.
“We know World Cup pressure is on, we know that every ball something's on the line. So we're really close, two more runs and we win that game.
“We'll look at the positives to move forward quickly, and it's about resetting and looking forward because it's another really exciting opportunity to play at home in front of hopefully a really big crowd at Eden Park.”
England Squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver (vc), Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt. Travelling Reserves: Lauren Bell, Mady Villiers
New Zealand Squad: Sophie Devine (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Frankie Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu. Travelling Reserve: Molly Penfold
Sophie Devine - Devine's experience with bat and ball is invaluable, but it is perhaps her tactical nous that is her most underrated asset of all. The White Ferns skipper always sets good fields and generally rotates her bowlers well to ensure batters don't become too comfortable. Devine can also turn a game with bat or ball and will be crucial to the fortunes of the home nation.
Tammy Beaumont - The England opener always seems to save herself for the big occasion, so expect to see the 30-year-old score plenty of runs in New Zealand. Beaumont topped the scoring charts at the 2017 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup with a whopping 410 runs.
CWC22 DREAM11 FANTASY WATCH
Captaincy Pick – Amelia Kerr
New Zealand’s all-rounder came into the World Cup in terrific form and offers genuine quality with both bat and ball. She was in power-hitting mode against Bangladesh, blasting an unbeaten 47* from 37 balls to help the tournament hosts to victory, hit a superb 50 against India, and racked up 42 against South Africa too. And the spinner has also picked up eight wickets so far at the tournament, and has the quality to do serious damage to England batting line-up.
Must have – Natalie Sciver
So often considered a generational talent in English cricket, Natalie Sciver’s international record has been good but not as great as her potential could see her reach. But if she clicks then the 29-year-old could be one of the dominant batters at the tournament, and her outstanding century in the loss to Australia hinted that she’s at the top of her game at precisely the right moment for England.
The giant Eden Park in Auckland is New Zealand’s largest stadium and a regular host of international cricket and rugby matches.
This is the second match to be hosted at Eden Park during the tournament, following a day after the India v Australia clash.
All eight teams at the tournament will play each other across seven rounds in a league format.
The top four teams in the standings after the conclusion of the Group Stage will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held in the final week of March.
England’s remaining tournament fixtures:
20 March v New Zealand
24 March v Pakistan
27 March v Bangladesh
New Zealand’s remaining tournament fixtures:
20 March v England
26 March v Pakistan