We are a week and 10 games into the WWT20 and it has been an interesting few days.
In Group A New Zealand have lived up to the expectations of many (me included) and look like the side to beat in this competition. They comfortably beat Australia today and their top order looks extremely powerful. The complete lack of pace from Leigh Kasperek's slllllllll...o...w right arm spin (although to be fair she does not actually spin it much at all - watch the ball in the slowmos!) seems to fox all who bat against her. Her appearance and style are very reminiscent of England's former left-arm spinner Holly Colvin. Short of stature she too threw the ball in the air, allowing it to dip as it got to the batsmen. She did alright too!
I keep expecting someone to work out how to play Kasperek - use your feet and play straight. In the group games they only have South Africa left to play. It will be interesting to see if Dane van Niekerk can get to her.
The Aussies look a bit of a muddled outfit. Which is not like them. I pointed out before the tournament that they did not know who to open the batting with. They still don't. If it were me it would be Mooney and Villani with Lanning at three, but I think Lanning may insist on taking the role against Sri Lanka. Despite their confusion the Aussies are still likely to make the semis - they have Sri Lanka and Ireland still to play. Their narrow victory over South Africa has saved their blushes. But will they make it beyond the semis? In all probability they will meet England there. England will never have a better chance of knocking them out of a major final.
In Group B the first three games went with form with comfortable wins for India, West Indies and England over lower opposition, but India's catatonic batting against Pakistan as they froze under the pressure of their own and their country's expectations, ultimately led to their demise - although you have to say that the rain probably saved Pakistan from throwing away a game that they should have won at a canter. Tomorrow India play England. Should India lose then their tournament may well be over. England's big game experience might just be enough to win it for them, despite a lacklustre start to the tournament against Bangladesh.
Defeat might not be the end for India. West Indies have been unconvincing in their opening two wins against Pakistan and Bangladesh. In fact Pakistan should have beaten them, but ran out of self-belief half way through chasing 103 and ended up four runs short. The Windies still have England and India to play and they could lose both those games, opening the door for India to qualify on net run rate.
I'll be watching the rest of the tournament from Colombo in Sri Lanka where I am headed to follow the England Academy take on the Shooting Stars and the Sri Lankan young guns. The way things are panning out at the moment I would suggest that it looks like a New Zealand v England final, but all that could change as soon as tomorrow. I'll be sitting on my suitcase in the front-room waiting for the taxi to the airport watching England take on India. Will it be new India or old India, and will it be new England or old England? Who knows?