The Women's World Cup is entering its crunch stage with the Super Sixes getting underway with unbeaten teams England and New Zealand meeting in one of the first matches tomorrow (March 14th).
Both sides carried four points into the Super Six stage courtesy of three wins out of three in their group and England, currently on a 15-match winning streak, could break Australia's record of 17 wins in a row but to do so, they will have to beat New Zealand, the West Indies and then Australia on Thursday.
“It was our goal before the start of the tournament to go into the Super Six stage with a clean record, captain Charlotte Edwards said. "We have done that successfully but now we have got a massive game against New Zealand and we are preparing hard for this game.
“I still think there is more to come from this England team. You haven’t seen the bottom order as yet. It’s not good peaking in the group stage as next week is the most important week of the tournament. It’s good that we are gaining confidence but the next three games are going to be massive for us.
“Australia had a close game against New Zealand and it still on a high. Australia is playing decent cricket.
“I still think three or four teams have a good chance of doing well and it all depends on which team peaks at the right time and whose key players perform at the right time. We are quietly about our business and keep preparing for the big games and hopefully we can keep winning,” she added.
New Zealand captain Haidee Tiffen believes that the England match will be a tough game.
“Our goal was to pick up maximum points in the group stages," she said. "But now we are down to the business end of the tournament and we know that we need to work hard.
“We will enjoy our victories, but will keep our feet on the ground as well. We have a big game on Saturday and we know that England is playing great cricket at the moment so it should be a good game.
“It was one of the favourites ahead of the event and it deserves that title. It has played consistent cricket over the last three years and has worked hard to get a stable team together.
“We need to bowl good lines and lengths and the key will be taking early wickets against them. It is going to be a great game and a good challenge and we are all really looking forward to Saturday,” she added.
Australia and India (two points) and the West Indies and Pakistan (no points) are the other teams in the Super Six stage while South Africa and Sri Lanka meet tomorrow for the seventh/eighth place play-off in North Sydney.
14 Mar – Sri Lanka v South Africa, seventh-eighth position play-off, North Sydney No.2 Oval
14 Mar – Australia v India, North Sydney Oval
14 Mar – New Zealand v England, Bankstown
14 Mar – West Indies v Pakistan, Drummoyne
16 Mar – Australia v Pakistan, Bankstown
17 Mar – India v New Zealand, North Sydney Oval
17 Mar – England v West Indies, Drummoyne
19 Mar – Australia v England, North Sydney Oval
19 Mar – India v West Indies, Bankstown
19 Mar – New Zealand v Pakistan, Drummoyne
21 Mar – third-fourth position play-off, Bankstown
21 Mar – fifth-sixth position play-off, Drummoyne
22 Mar – Final, North Sydney Oval
© Cricket World 2009