Close fight expected between Sri Lanka, Scotland and Thailand in Group A

Sri Lanka will start the tournament as firm favourites. Buoyed by their recent T20I series win in South Africa, the Chamari Athapaththu-led side will be aiming to top Group A on their way to a place in the final. Sri Lanka will be aiming to make the most of the upward curve in their form following the disappointing results in last year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa where they finished fourth in Group 1 and ended up competing in the Qualifier for an entry into this year’s main event.

Sri Lanka begin the tournament as the highest ranked team in seventh. They play Thailand in the tournament opener at the Tolerance Oval on 25 April.

Scotland, currently ranked 14th in the ICC Women’s T20I Rankings have been in the UAE for nearly two weeks. In the lead-up to the tournament, they have played 50-over matches against the USA and Papua New Guinea and are set to feature in a Quadrangular T20 tournament with the UAE, Netherlands and USA – weather permitting in Abu Dhabi this week.

Scotland are yet to make an appearance in the Women’s T20 World Cup and will be aiming to first secure a semi-final spot from Group A before challenging for the ultimate prize in Abu Dhabi – a ticket to Bangladesh. They open their campaign against Uganda on the opening day of the tournament with a night match at Tolerance Oval.

Thailand will be aiming to return to the pinnacle Women’s T20 event this year after failing to qualify for last year’s edition. The Asian team is currently ranked 12th. Thailand gave Pakistan a real fight in the 2020 edition in Australia (the match was eventually abandoned due to rain, Thailand had scored 150 for three in 20 overs) before defeating them in an Asia Cup fixture in October 2022.

Uganda have entered the Qualifier as one of the two teams from Africa. They are currently ranked 18th and will need to produce some stellar individual and team performances to get past the experienced Group A sides of Sri Lanka, Scotland and Thailand. Uganda have previously defeated Thailand in a T20I while enduring a defeat in their only other T20I against the Asian side. They were also defeated in their only T20I against Scotland to date.

The USA, who have recently gained ODI status, are yet to appear in an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup event – currently ranked 23rd in the team rankings. After securing the Americas’ spot in the Qualifier, USA will be aiming to deliver the goods after gaining adequate knowledge of the conditions with their 50-over matches in Dubai.

The team will gain further exposure and insights of the conditions in Abu Dhabi during the quadrangular event in the lead up to the tournament and will also aim to work out their best combinations and strategy in their two warm-up matches against Zimbabwe and Ireland before their tournament opener against Uganda at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on 27 April.

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier warm-up fixtures:

Sunday, 21 April

Sri Lanka vs Netherlands, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi – 15h00

Thailand vs UAE, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi – 19h00

Zimbabwe vs USA, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 15h00

Ireland vs Scotland, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 19h00

Uganda vs Vanuatu, Mohan Oval, Abu Dhabi – 15h00

Tuesday, 23 April

Uganda vs UAE, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi – 15h00

Sri Lanka vs Vanuatu, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi – 19h00

Thailand vs Netherlands, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 15h00

Zimbabwe vs Scotland, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi – 19h00

Ireland vs USA, Mohan Oval, Abu Dhabi – 15h00