South Africa won both the first matches it played so far. Both were close games until experienced players like Shabnim Ismail held her nerve to guide the Proteas home. The bowling attack is undoubtedly an asset and a force to reckon with for South Africa. England lost both its matches against Westindies and Australia.
The match against the Aussies was a close encounter, while the Windies strangled the batting lineup and were forced to conceal defeat against a brilliant spell of Anisa Mohammed in the 49th over. Despite the fact that the lower order batters drove the match until the very end, Had the lower batters shown the resistance in the final fight to hang in there until the last over, the match would have not slipped from the hands of England.
The margin of defeats would haunt England. Both the matches were within their reach, the batting unit played in parts, not as a single unit. Lauren Winfield has to get back to form to complement the ever consistent and reliable opening batter Tammy Beaumont. The middle-order has to perform consistently to seal the narrow margin of losses. The pace bowling is led by Katherine Brunt along with Kate Cross and Anya Shrubsole are wicket less except Natalie Sciver who took 3 wickets so far. This unit has become predictable. Sophie Ecclestone has done a fabulous job in single headedly picking wickets among the bowlers at an economy rate of 4.6 R.P.O.
South Africa will be aware of the close games it won. Despite the good start propelled by Laura Wolvaardt, the middle order is struggling to remain dominant and in control during the crunch situations. Frequent Collapses will limit its batting capability. They have to be consistent against the defending champions. The pace attack is the anchor to both its wins; the pacers shared 15 wickets among them. They will be a tough bowling line-up that England will need to show their might.
England will be eyeing to open their tally on the points table. They need their batters to perform as a group to keep them afloat in the tournament. The Proteas will depend on their pace attack supported by the batters to make it three wins in a row.
Probable Playing XI:
SOUTH AFRICA: Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Lara Goodall, Sune Luus, Mignon Du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Marizanne Kapp, Ayobonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune
ENGLAND: Emma Lamb, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Danielle Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Natasha Farrant