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|2020 Women's World Cup semi-final 2, Australia vs South Africa|
|Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney|
|Match status: Australia won by 5 runs (D/L)|
|Toss: South Africa elected to field first|
Australia will need to battle both South Africa and the rain when the sides meet in the second semi-final of the women’s T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7pm (AEDT).
If you want it to rain in Sydney, just schedule some cricket. South Africa had their last group game rained out on Tuesday at Homebush, and the forecast for tonight’s contest is flat out ordinary.
With no reserve day, the pressure falls on the Australians to get on the field and take victory, with the hosts surprisingly only able to finish second in their group to India.
It was a shaky start to a tournament which has steadily improved for the Aussies, but even in wins over New Zealand and Sri Lanka, they haven’t looked anywhere near their best.
The only time they have played at a high level for the entire match was in an 86-run win over Bangladesh, and an injury to star all-rounder Ellyse Perry won’t help their cause.
She has been ruled out for the tournament, but it’s Beth Mooney who has shown good form, scoring 153 runs at 51. More importantly, she opens with Alyssa Healy, and in a reduced game (ten overs is the minimum in the knockout stages), an aggressive opening combination can make the difference.
Megan Schutt is the strike bowler for Australia, but without Perry for back-up, she will need to be extremely good with the new ball against what can be a dangerous South African top order.
Despite topping their group thanks to a tense victory over England in their second game, the Proteas women still come into this one as outsiders.
With their only other completed matches being against Thailand and Pakistan (who they beat comprehensively), it’s hard to get a read on where their form line is.
Their bowling attack was phenomenal against England though, with Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka leading the way. They will need to be on song from ball one in the field though, given the form of Mooney, and the potential for the likes of Healy and Meg Lanning to find form.
On top of that, captain Dane Van Niekerk has struggled for runs outside of the England game and may need to go big if she is to power her nation over the line.
Australia may not have been playing out of their skin, but on paper, they are the stronger of the two sides. They won a warm-up game against South Africa and should pull off a trip to the final… if the rain allows it.
Australia in a close one.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match from 7pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Date: Thursday, March 5
First ball: 7pm (AEDT)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
TV: Live, Fox Cricket 501 and Channel 9
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, 9Now
Betting: Australia $1.25, South Africa $3.85
Umpires: Kim Cotton (New Zealand) and Nitin Menon (India)
Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham
South Africa (squad)
Dane van Niekerk (c), Chloe Tryon (vc), Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Laura Wolvaardt