South Africa will face hosts Australia in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup on Thursday. The Proteas topped their group with impressive wins over England, Thailand and Pakistan. Their final group game was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The hosts finished second in their group, having lost to India in the pool stages. India will play England in the other semi-final, but both fixtures are at risk of being washed out. With no reserve day scheduled for the semis, the top ranked teams (ie India and South Africa) will progress to play the final on Sunday.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that 5-15mm of rain in Sydney on match day, which would be some sweet irony for a South African cricket team, considering their previous misfortunes with weather at ICC events.
But no team in the world will rest on their laurels thinking their progression is a done deal. And should there be a match (ten overs a side to constitute a game in ICC events), the Proteas will have to make history again if they hope to progress to the final.
Australia have been a dominant force in women’s cricket for many years, so it’s no surprise that South Africa have never beaten them in a T20i. It should be noted, though, that the two sides have only played each four times in the format – the last meeting being in 2016.
The Aussies also hold the upperhand in the one-day format, having won 13 and, remarkably, tying a match.
Equally remarkable is that South Africa’s batters and bowlers lead the individual stats with Shabnim Ismail topping the wicket-takers’ list and Trisha Chetty the run scorers’.
Chloe Tryon said on Tuesday that the Proteas are ready for anything.
“We’re pleased with our group stage, we’ve played really good cricket and the maturity we’ve shown has been nice to see,” said the hard-hitting all-rounder.
“There’s going to be a lot of emotion around the semi-final, it’s Australia’s home ground and we know there’s going to be a big crowd.
“We’ve just got to stay in our space. We want to play the world champions, and we’ve wanted to play them for a while now.
“To face them in a semi-final is probably the biggest game for us.”