Women’s T20 World Cup: England Prepare For A ‘Dog Fight’ In South Africa Semi-Final



Women's T20 World Cup: England prepare for a 'dog fight' in South Africa semi-final

England are preparing for a “dog fight” in their Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final against South Africa, says Katherine Sciver-Brunt.

England have cruised in to the semi-final unbeaten, while South Africa lost to Sri Lanka and Australia.

The winner will play Australia in Sunday’s final after their five-run win over India in Thursday’s semi-final.

“We had a game against them a couple of weeks ago where 500 runs were scored,” said fast bowler Sciver-Brunt, 37.

“That was a dog fight and it was only a practice.

“That’s what I love about South Africa, they are very passionate and they fight to the last ball and wear all emotions all over them – a bit like me.”

Sciver-Brunt started the World Cup poorly, but bounced back to form with 2-14 in England’s 114-run win against Pakistan where they posted 213-5, the highest total in the tournament’s history.

But despite England’s superior record in the lead up to the semi-finals, South Africa are playing at home and as underdogs, may feel under less pressure.

“The crowds are unbelievable, to the point where you can’t hear yourself think,” said Sciver-Brunt. “The crowd will be against us, but either way it’ll be a great day, a special occasion, and obviously we hope to be on the winning side of it.”

England thrashed South Africa in the multi-format series that the teams played during the summer of 2022, and also beat them in the semi-final of the 50-over World Cup earlier that year.

Heather Knight’s side have gained attention during the competition with their attacking and aggressive brand of cricket, especially with the bat as Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s wife Nat leads the run-scoring charts – and they are prepared to keep playing that way.

“Everyone knows their plan and always take the positive option,” said batter Danni Wyatt. “It’s T20 cricket, you’re meant to go out there from ball one.

“So, no matter the conditions, we’re still going to go out there and try and take it to them.”

South Africa are planning on using England’s new-found aggression in their favour.

England slipped to 29-3 against India and recovered excellently, but the top order has been relatively inconsistent, which comes with the territory of their attacking intent.

“There’s no pressure on us, we can just go out and enjoy playing freely,” said South Africa captain Sune Luus.

“They’re playing a very attacking brand, which I think can play into our hands. Once they lose a wicket, they don’t stop being aggressive, which I think can definitely play into our advantage tomorrow.”

South Africa’s tournament started poorly, shockingly losing the opening fixture to Sri Lanka before a more predictable defeat by reigning champions Australia.

They have since enjoyed comfortable victories against New Zealand and Bangladesh, boosted by the noise and passion of a home crowd at Newlands.

Their bowlers have been in form throughout with the pace of Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, but as a side they are prepared to put things right from previous World Cup disappointments.

It is South Africa’s third T20 World Cup semi-final, and they have also reached the same stage of the 50-over World Cup three times – but have never reached a final.

“We’ve been on the other side of it too many times to know exactly what it feels like, and we don’t want to be there again,” said Luus.

“So I guess there’s motivation for us to just go out and enjoy the game, with nothing to lose. We’re just going to try and play our best cricket and try and enjoy the moment.”

Source – BBC Sports



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