The Australian women’s cricket team will face New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals this weekend, but most Aussie supporters won’t be awake for the must-win contest in Birmingham.

The semi-final fixtures were unveiled on Friday morning AEST, with hosts England scheduled to take on powerhouse nation India on Saturday at 11am local time.

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Meanwhile, world champions Australia will battle their trans-Tasman rivals in the evening timeslot, meaning fans back home hoping to cheer on Meg Lanning’s side will need to set an alarm for 3am AEST on Sunday morning.

Kiwi viewers have been dealt a slightly less painful 5am start time.

Swapping the fixtures would have given three of the competing nations a prime broadcast timeslot for their respective audiences, but accommodating India’s massive fanbase has seemingly been prioritised.

Australia was undefeated in the group stage, defeating India, Barbados and Pakistan to cruise through to the knockouts.

New Zealand, meanwhile, suffered a horror collapse in their final group stage match against England on Thursday, managing just 9/71 from their 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat first at Edgbaston.

Maddy Green top-scored for the Kiwis with 19 as veteran seamer Katherine Brunt rattled the New Zealanders with a classy spell of 2/4 from three overs in the Powerplay.

“We were well below par and it wasn‘t through lack of effort or lack of planning or anything like that, I think you just get days like that,” New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said.

“It’s never nice to be a part of but we’ve got to flush it down the dunny pretty quickly and move on to something that’s actually really exciting for us, playing in a semi-final against Australia at a Commonwealth Games.”

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

Regardless, Australia remain firm favourites to return home with the coveted gold medal around their necks, having not lost a 20-over match since March 2021.

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

“They‘ve certainly come into this competition as favourites and hopeful of taking that gold medal whereas a lot of people didn’t think we’d maybe make the semi-finals.

“We can really take that on board and just play with a bit of freedom and take it to the Aussies. We obviously know them really well, so I think our plans are going to be pretty spot on and likewise they know us really well too. It‘s always just a great battle against the Australians.”

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