Commonwealth Games 2022: Fans cruel by semi-final schedule, start time for New Zealand vs Australia, cricket news

Australia’s women’s cricket team will take on New Zealand in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games this weekend, but most Australian fans won’t be awake for the unmissable contest in Birmingham.

The semi-final matches were announced on Friday morning AEST, with hosts England set to face India on Saturday at 11am local time.

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Meanwhile, world champions Australia will face their trans-Tasman rivals in the evening time slot, meaning fans returning home hoping to cheer on Meg Lanning’s side will have to set an alarm at 3 a.m. AEST Sunday morning.

Kiwi viewers received a slightly less painful start time at 5 a.m.

Swapping the matches would have given three of the competing nations prime broadcast times for their respective audiences, but accommodating India’s huge fanbase has apparently been a priority.

Australia were unbeaten in the group stage, beating India, Barbados and Pakistan to advance to the knockout stages.

New Zealand, meanwhile, suffered a horror slump in their final group stage game against England on Thursday, going just 9/71 from their 20 overs after winning the coin toss and picking to strike first at Edgbaston.

Maddy Green topped the score for the Kiwis with 19 as veteran seamstress Katherine Brunt rocked the New Zealanders with a classy 2/4 spell from three overs in the Powerplay.

“We were well below par and it wasn’t for lack of effort or planning or anything like that, I think you get days like that,” said New Zealand captain Sophie Guess.

“It’s never nice to be part of it, but we have to get over it pretty quickly and move on to something really exciting for us, playing a semi-final against Australia at the Commonwealth Games.”

England chased the 72-run target with over eight overs to spare and seven wickets in hand.

Either way, Australia remain favorites to head home with the coveted gold medal around their necks, having not lost a 20-man game since March 2021.

“I think a lot of the pressure is going to be on Australia,” Devine said.

“They certainly came into this competition as favorites and are hoping to win that gold medal when a lot of people didn’t think we might make the semi-finals.

“We can really take that into account and just play with a bit of freedom and bring that to the Aussies. We obviously know them very well so I think our plans are going to be pretty specific and likewise they know us very well too. It’s always a great battle against the Aussies.

Originally published as ‘Pretty disappointing’: Australian cricket fans cruel to Commonwealth Games schedule