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Five ways to beat England in the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final

Nonkululeko Mlaba of South Africa celebrates a wicket after bowling out Sobhana Mostary of Bangladesh in the ICC T20 Women's World Cup at the Newlands cricket stadium

Nonkululeko Mlaba of South Africa celebrates a wicket after bowling out Sobhana Mostary of Bangladesh in the ICC T20 Women's World Cup at the Newlands cricket stadium. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 23, 2023


Gqeberha - The Proteas take on a strong England outfit for a spot in the final on the Women’s T20 World Cup on Friday.

IOL Sport's Ongama Gcwabe looks at Five ways to beat England.

Utilise the new ball

England are a dangerous side if you are not going to use the new ball to full effect. Sophia Dunkley at the top of the order is an explosive batter, but is vulnerable to the swinging ball.

Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail need to be on top of their game from the word go, use the new ball well and expose the strong England middle order to the new ball.

Nullify the spin trio

England have fielded an unchanged XI in the tournament so far and they've done so to allow their players more time together on the park to gel well as a unit.

England's spin trio of Sophie Ecclestone, Charlie Dean and Sarah Glenn are a threat in the middle overs for South Africa's batters.

The trio are masters at keeping batters quiet, so the Proteas will need to do something different to be successful against this attack.

They need to be creative and to take initiative with bat in hand to combat these three spinners, and should not allow them time to settle into their plans.

Should South Africa take out the trio, they will force skipper Heather Knight to bring on the seamers who have not had a great World Cup.

Keep their middle order quiet

Nat Sciver-Brunt and Heather Knight are a dangerous pair in England's middle order.

Exposing them to the new ball by removing the openers early is the first step.

South Africa will need to bowl tight lines and lengths and look to force this middle order pair to take singles.

Eventually they will have to take risks looking for boundaries, and South Africa will be in with a chance for a big wicket.

ALSO READ: Mignon du Preez wants ‘klein Sunetjie’ and the Proteas Women to be ‘fearless’ at ICC T20 World Cup

Field the best XI

The time for experimenting is over. The semi-final is a big match with a lot of pressure and that needs big players with big match temperaments.

South Africa should pick their best XI if there aren't any players carrying niggles or injuries.

Fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka sat out against Australia last week, and South Africa went on to lose the game.

A bowler of the calibre of Khaka should play the semi-final alongside Kapp, Ismail and Nadine de Klerk as a pace attack.

ALSO READ: Dewald Brevis leads SA Invitation XI's counter-attack against the West Indies

Play the match, not the occasion

Too many times sports teams tend to play the occasion which leads to their demise in World Cups or in any big tournament.

The key for South Africa will be to focus on playing the match like it is just another game of cricket where they would always play to win.

The idea of focusing on the fact that it is a semi-final of the World Cup tends to overwhelm players and leads to them to not performing to their potential.

South Africa should play the match, not the occasion come Friday at Newlands.


IOL Sport