The Proteas Women in action against the West Indies. Photo @ICC on twitter

ST LUCIA – Both England and South Africa are in with a chance of making the semifinals of the ICC Women's World T20 2018 and their contest in St Lucia on Friday may decide who advances. 

Both teams have played two games so far and while South Africa have had straight results – a win against Sri Lanka followed by a loss to the Windies – England have been a tad unlucky in that their match against Sri Lanka was washed out before they defeated Bangladesh in another rain-hit match.

England start out with a slight advantage, having three points to South Africa's two, but the latter are clear, especially after a humbling at the hands of the Windies, that beating England and Bangladesh, who they play in their final league game, is the way forward – it's either that or nothing.

A solitary South Africa supporter pictured during the match against the West Indies. Photo: @ICC on twitter
A solitary South Africa supporter pictured during the match against the West Indies. Photo: @ICC on twitter

South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk was forthright in her assessment of the batters and emphasised the need to cross the 100-run mark, which South Africa have struggled to do in the tournament.

"We really need to go do some introspection as batters and then try and figure out where we're going wrong at the moment, because it's been a bit of ... I don't know if it's a habit or what it's been, but since the warm-ups our batting struggled to get to 100," she pointed out.

And right she was, as only Lizelle Lee and Marizanne Kapp could reach double figures in the chase of 108 against the Windies, where South Africa were bundled for 76. Against a strong England side, their batting will have to do better.

All's not gloomy for them, though, as the bowlers have done a good job, restricting a strong Windies side to a low total. Shabnim Ismail picked up 3/12 – her second three-for in the tournament – while van Niekerk herself got two wickets. Kapp has also been in good form.

For England, there's everything to test and play for. In the game against Bangladesh, they didn't break a sweat in their DLS-revised chase of 64 runs from 16 overs after having restricted Bangladesh to 76/9.

Young Kirstie Gordon was the star with the ball with her 3/16, while Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole and Sophie Ecclestone all chipped in with wickets.

African News Agency (ANA)

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