South Africa’s rise to the top of the tournament was all about persistence and consistency. England brought itself a life after working on its shortcomings and making comebacks and revived itself as a major contender for the title.
South Africa have a good batting attack, among whom Laura Woldvaadrt is leading the run charts of the tournament. She has scored five fifties off seven matches at an average of 61.86 R.P.O. It also closed the gap of having a feeble middle order, but the way they responded against India in chasing took the game away from India’s grasp. They counter-attacked and squeezed in opportunities at will when they seized control of the match in the early stages of the match with partnerships and strike rotations.
This gave all the batters arriving at the crease to have a free hand to chase the innings as the base was already set. The bowling attack has been the best-utilized asset of this lineup and they have created and kept up their dominance through consistent line & length and supported by extremely high fielding standards. Their resistance and the application of their skills in crunch situations show their intent to be at the top of their game.
They made sure they executed their plans and tried to narrow down their minute shortcoming related to finishes. They are challenged by a team having transitioned from a pessimistic start of the tournament to an unbeaten streak revived performances. It required good batting performances and efficient bowling attacks to get over the finish line. On a day, any one of the players in this squad could become the match-changers. The spin bowling has been in its best form and single-handedly won matches against India and Bangladesh. The pace attack though took time to settle itself, is now closer to attaining its best capacity. The middle-order has to still fill the gap in finishing matches and this is an area they will work on for the knockouts.
The last time these two teams faced in the world cup was in the semifinals of the 2017 world cup and Anya Shrubsole was the difference between the two sides. She struck the winning runs and took England to the finals and eventually they won by the barest of margin. It was a heartbreak for the Proteas and they are well prepared to face such a challenge with a much more improvised squad. England will also be aware of a dominant South African side who will have its onus on Mignon Du Preez as a reliable finisher and MarizanneKapp for her all-round performances and fighting spirit.
Both the teams though have managed to defend or finish the matches, it required experience, fighting spirit to finish the complete circle of match preparations on both physical and emotional fronts. They have their own trouble-shooters at every spot in the line-up.
The winner of this battle of heavyweights will face the unbeatable and magnificent Australia in the finals on April 3rd.
Probable Playing XI:
South Africa: Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Lara Goodall, Sune Luus (c), Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty (wk), Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka
England: Tammy Beaumont, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Charlotte Dean, Anya Shrubsole