Michael and Co kick off campaign with promising start
Australia showed why they are the world champions by outclassing the UAE women’s team, but the hosts can take confidence from the fact that they pushed England all the way earlier in the day.
The Australians arrived at InSportz Club having won the previous eight World Cups and sent out an early warning to the rest of their rivals that they mean business by beating the UAE 124-23.
They dominated from start to finish, claiming the maximum seven points after winning each skin. Skipper Jude Coleman led the way with 20 runs and five wickets while the UAE’s Heena Hotchandani hit 15 runs.
Earlier in the day, the UAE gave England a scare. Chasing 69, Natasha Michael’s side were in the game and nearly pulled a major upset but fell short by six runs. Chaya Mughal took two wickets while Hotchandani scored 17 runs.
Skipper Michael said the England game gave the team a lot of confidence for the match-up with Australia and spoke glowingly of the defending champions.
“Their coach came to us and gave us a few tips and said that we’re doing really well,” said the 23-yearold. “She said as a team who has just started playing, you’ll most likely be the most improved team in the tournament and that’s a very big deal, to hear that.
“The Australian team are like our mentors and we look up to them to play indoor cricket. We will keep on pushing ourselves.
“We definitely had our eyes on England and wanted to push ourselves to see where we stand with them. It was a surprise because everyone gave their 100 per cent and came so close. To be very honest, we didn’t expect it but we have been training so hard that it’s become a habit for us to play indoor cricket.”
South Africa and New Zealand are next up today and Michael wants the team to prove they are capable of playing the format.
“We are definitely looking to give any team a close fight but we also want to prove that we can play any format of the game,” she said.
In the two other matches, New Zealand enjoyed a strong start with victories over England and South Africa.
Taking aim: Heena Hotchandani.