Women’s T20 World Cup final: Ten days ago, South Africa were not sure of a semifinal spot in the Women’s T20 World Cup. Their two losses made Group A spicy but big wins against New Zealand and Bangladesh ensured that they would be the second-best team from the group that also featured Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. Just a day ago, chances of South Africa going past England in the semis were not high but the Proteas defied all the odds as their strong bowling shone and the hosts sneaked past the door to the ultimate match.
It’s a dream for them as no senior South African team, including Men’s and Women’s has played in a single final of any World Cup (ODI or T20I). On the contrary, Australia have been quite a force as always in the tournament and held India in an absolute thriller on February 23. The Aussies were destined to play the final. They were unbeaten in the group and went past India in the semifinal to set another date with destiny.
The stadium will be packed when these two teams clash and to no one’s guessing the crowd would be right behind the home team to go one more step ahead and do another impossible in the tournament. Australia are a nicely balanced team and have match-winners across the XI. Meanwhile, South Africa’s strength is their bowling. The trio of Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka are the torchbearers for the team, and their batting has also stood up in recent matches. Laura Wolvaardt, Tazmin Brits have notched stands of over 90 in the two previous matches and would want to keep the momentum to test the Aussie side.
For Australia, the likes of Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Ash Garnder and Jess Jonnessen, all are in form. It would be a contest between Australia’s batting and South Africa’s bowling. South Africa have never defeated Australia in the six T20Is played between the two but a World Cup final result is yet not set in stone. So, is the Proteas team having some more fuel in their tank to stage an upset and reach the glory in Newlands, only time will tell!