Finally the Women's World Cup 2013 (wwc13) will get underway tomorrow (09.00GMT) with the hosts India taking on the West Indies in what could be the best of the first round of games. There are effectively three initial rounds of four games, as each of the four members of the two groups (A & B) take on the other three teams in their respective groups.
The first round matches are
India v West Indies [group A]
England v Sri Lanka [group A]
Australia v Pakistan [group B]
New Zealand v South Africa [group B]
India had a fantastic warm-up win against New Zealand, and put up a reasonable effort against Australia and on home soil they will be favourites to beat the West Indies, who have only had one warm-up game when they got mashed by the Aussies. There is a lot resting on the shoulders of Stafanie Taylor for the Windies and I am not sure that she is fully fit. If Deandra Dottin, Merissa Aguilleira and Shanel Daley can also come to the party then the Windies might just pull off the first shock of the tournament.
You would expect England and Australia to both win their games comfortably. If they bat first they will be looking to rack up more than 300 and I wouldn't mind betting that the tournament's first individual century could come from one of these two games.
New Zealand have had a great time recently, beating Australia in a T20 series and England in their last warm-up game (although they had lost the previous one quite badly to India). South Africa had a good tour to the West Indies just prior to coming to the World Cup and have a potential star of this tournament in Dane van Niekerk (both with ball and bat). The Saffas seem to have trouble scoring more than 200 within 50 overs, but if they can restrict the White Ferns to this sort of score they may be in with a sniff. Sensible money will be on New Zealand to win though.
After all the build-up and the chaos of the past couple of weeks it will be great to get WWC13 underway. The first two of these games will be televised and hopefully all the countries taking part will be showing them. Let's hope that the ICC's live scores on the internet also work somewhat better than they did in the warm-up games.