About the Match
It's been just over a year since Heather Knight has taken over the after Charlotte Edwards. She's back at the ground where she made her captaincy debut and will be looking to repeat the same sort of performance. It's the same team and the same venue and similar performance from their skipper wouldn't hurt England when they come out to play against Pakistan at Grace Road, Leicester on 27th June 2017 where the home side will look to rub on the wounds caused by their against India in their opening game. Both the teams are coming after facing a defeat and it will interesting to see how the two teams fare.
Being projected as one of the strongest contenders for the title, England, in the first match against India, did not really perform up to the standards they've set for themselves in International cricket. They were playing cricket after six long months and it clearly reflected in their bowling as India managed to put on 100+ runs stand in a high-pressure match.
Their batters did try to pull things into their favor, and at one stage were looking well set to take it home, but failed to do so, thanks to some poor judgment and lack of proper communication in the middle. It was a slow wicket where Indian spinners thrived, but it would be a tad quicker at Leicester where the likes of Sarah Taylor, Heather Knight, and Fran Wilson are expected to do a lot better. Their bowlers too will like this pitch better.
A team like England cannot be taken lightly just because of one bad game and Pakistan will be wary of that fact. England is still one of the strongest sides of the tournament and is likely to bounce back hard.
Pakistan cricket is a name synonymous with nail-biting Cricket. As often observed, Pakistan once again showed in their match against South Africa the glimpses of what they are capable of, but could not get over the line. At one stage they were down and out of the match with a wonderful 113-run stand between Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt. Their spinner let them into the game and reduced Pakistan to 177 for 7. Sana Mir bowled with a lot of accuracy and control, but could not stop the Proteas from getting across the line.
While the spinners bowled beautifully against England, seamers', and batters' performances are definitely a cause of concern for Pakistan. Nahida Khan continued her good form and scored a quick 79 to take the team's score to a respectable one. Nashra Sandhu and Sadia Yusuf bowled well to bag a couple of wickets each.
Pakistan will depend on a lot on Sana Mir, Sadia and Sandhu to do the bulk of the damage. Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof need to make a solid effort at the top so that the batters in the middle-order can come in and score quickly. Pakistan has always been an unpredictable team who can beat any other team on their day and they certainly can make England taste their own medicine.
Both teams are coming after a loss and it will be an important game to win for both the sides. England being the home side have a considerable advantage, but Pakistan's spinners will take inspiration from India's performance against England. England is a better side on paper and with home advantage, they are favorites to win this all-important encounter.