Form favours White Ferns in T20 build-up

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Wellington (New Zealand), Apr.28 (ANI): While the Black Caps enter the world Twenty20 cricket tournament in the Caribbean hoping to make the first four, their female equivalents, the White Ferns, have the credentials to be champions.

Nine wins from their past 10 T20 matches, including a five-match winning streak against Australia during the past season, has the Gary Stead-coached side primed to make a bold bid for the title, stuff.co.nz reports.

They were the beaten finalist at the inaugural event last year in England, losing to the host side, who will again be a major threat.

However, England will be arriving at the tournament coming from their winter, although they have had longer to acclimatise.

The 14-member New Zealand women's team leaves tomorrow and will have five days to settle into the island setting of St Kitts, including warm-up matches against Australia and the West Indies on May 2 and 3, before the tournament begins on May 6.

New Zealand have India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in their pool, while England, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies comprise the other, with the top two teams going through to the semifinals.

Stead said he expected the pitches to be on the slow and low side, which may assist teams like India and Sri Lanka, with their complement of spin bowlers. But he believed the White Ferns were well covered through their spinners and bowlers who take the pace off the ball. (ANI)

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