South Africa might have already lost to England in the World Cup, but the two sides have all to play for when they square off in the semi-final on Tuesday.
Tammy Beaumont says England’s victory over South Africa earlier in the group stage of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 will count for nothing when the two sides face each other in the semi-final in Bristol on Tuesday.
England has won six WWC games in a row – including a 68-run victory over South Africa – following their opening defeat by India. South Africa has won four, lost two and had one game washed out due to rain.
But with a place in the Lord’s final the prize for Tuesday’s winner, Beaumont says both teams go into the game with a clean slate.
She said: “We did beat them in the group game, but it is going to be a clean slate on Tuesday with a lot more to play for and they will come out hard and try and make up for that defeat in the group stages.
“We have put the loss to India behind us and we have gone from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed, there are still a few areas our coach will want us to work on but that is the good thing about us, we always want to learn and we always want to get better and we have a chance to do that.”
Beaumont is the tournament’s leading runs-scorer with 372 runs from her seven innings but she says that England’s main strength is the ability for other players to step up and perform when needed.
She added: “I think the best part of our squad is that someone different steps up every single game. Heather Knight was excellent against West Indies with a really crucial knock and Alex Hartley with the ball.
“It is really key that everyone is on song for the semi-final.
“South Africa have a really good all round team, they have a team to suit all sorts of pitches, they have a lot of pace up front and then leg-spinners in the middle and some pretty destructive batters.”
Beaumont may be the highest scoring batter in the tournament so far, but she and England will come up against the tournament’s leading wicket taker in Dane van Niekerk.
The South Africa captain has taken 15 wickets in her six games so far in the WWC and she believes the pressure is all on the tournament host ahead of the semi-final is Bristol.
She said: “We’re excited, we know any team that is in the semi-final is going to be tough to beat so we’re going to have to bring our very best.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us at all, I don’t think most people thought we would be here. In that sense I’m very proud of the girls, it’s our first semi-final since 2000.
“I’m really excited to be in this position and the girls are really excited for the challenge ahead.” DM
England vs South Africa semi-final broadcast: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD and Hotstar in India; SS Mix and SS Cricket (red button) in the UK; Fox Sports 505/506 and Foxsports.com.au; Star Sports in Bangladesh; SKY Sport 1, Skygo, Fanpass, and Sky.co.nz in New Zealand; Channel Eye, Star Sports, channeleye.lk in Sri Lanka; TEN Sports, PTV Sports, SONY LIV and sports.ptv.com.pk in Pakistan; SuperSport, SuperSport 6 Africa, Supersport.com and SS App in South Africa; ESPN Caribbean and Espnplay.com in the West Indies. For more information, please see your local listings.
England: Heather Knight (captain), Tamsin Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Beth Langston, Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield and Danielle Wyatt
South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (captain), Trisha Chetty. Moseline Daniels, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Odine Kirsten, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Chloe Tryon and Laura Wolvaardt,
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite and Paul Wilson; Third umpire: Christopher Brown; Fourth umpire: S Saikat.
Match Referee: Steve Bernard.
This piece was first published on icc-cricket.com
Photo: Dane van Niekerk of South Africa bats during the 2016 International ODI Womens cricket match between South Africa and New Zealand at Boland Park, Paarl on 16 October 2016 Photo: ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix