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ICC Women's T20 got off to a stellar start where Indian skipper scored a scintillating century and that was only the teaser of things to come. Indian women eventually won the match which was wide open at one time. The second day of this tournament will see England women take on Sri Lankan women at Gros Islet, St Lucia. English men's team is doing exceedingly well in all formats of the game and the pressure will be on English women at a time when women's cricket is being followed well and pressure is bound to be immense. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be free from the pressure of expectations and will be looking to punch above their weight and cause an upset here.
The fifty-over champions haven't had an ideal start to the competition as they lost two games out of four in the warm-up leg of the tournament. The conditions in the West Indies are a lot different as compared to England and adapting to the conditions will be the key. Without the experienced wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, the importance of adapting to the conditions cannot be overstated.
England have called up three uncapped players and it is highly unlikely that they all get to play together considering the balance of the side. Amy Jones will take behind-the-stumps duty in Taylor's absence. Katherine Brunt is unlikely to feature in the earlier matches of the tournament but is likely to return before the big games.
In the absence of Sarah Taylor, Danielle Wyatt will have a huge role to play and considering the form she's in, it's going to be tough for any bowling attack to bowl to her. She already has two international centuries to her name this year and will be looking to extend her form deal more damage in the marquee tournament.
England are going into the tournament as one of the favorites and it won't be surprising if we see a repeat of their 50-over World Cup campaign. They have good bench strength available and despite the absence of Sarah Taylor, they do not appear to be lagging behind in any of the departments.
Starting lineup not yet available.
Sri Lanka have plenty to gain from this tournament and although they're not being perceived as the favorites to go all the way, they have many talented caps at their disposal. They haven't advanced any further than group stage in any edition of the tournament and with their skipper in sublime form, they'll be looking to do a lot better this time around.
The Sri Lankan lineup revolved around their skipper Chamari Atapattu who has been in terrific form this year. Her 178 not-out knock was one of the highlights of the tournament and perhaps one of the best knocks of the Women's ODI history. She was also the leading run scorer for Sri Lanka in the recently concluded series against India.
The interesting addition to their World Cup lineup is that of Kavish Dilhari who debuted for them in September this year. She already has a couple of notable performances to her name and her all-around skills can come in handy for the Islanders.
Sri Lanka are coming into the tournament on the back of a 4-0 defeat to India, but the conditions at Gros Islet should suit their spinners. If their spinners can utilize the conditions and their batsmen manage to step up their play, they can really make the life a little difficult for England.
Starting lineup not yet available.
World Cup matches are generally high-pressure encounters with each match being extremely important. Although the surface will not change much over the course of the match, the captain winning the toss is likely to opt to bat first.
The surface at Gros Islet is expected to assist spinners with the older ball, but there will be value for shots on offer for the batsmen. The powerplay will be the best time for the batsmen to score runs and anything over 170 will need a seriously good effort to chase down.
England are placed 3rd in the Women's T20 rankings whereas Sri Lanka occupy the eighth spot. However, without the services of Sarah Taylor, England might find it difficult to adapt to the conditions which we witnessed in the warm-up matches. Having said that, England still have the experience of Danielle Wyatt and Heather Knight who could cause trouble for the Islanders. Sri Lanka are a little too over-reliant on Atapattu as far as their batting is concerned. England are a better-balanced team and go in as firm favorites to start of their World Cup campaign on a winning note.