South Africa will get their fairytale finish at home if they find a way to halt the Australian juggernaut in the Women’s T20 World Cup final in Cape Town on Sunday. South Africa showed commendable fighting spirit to upset England in the semifinal but they will need to stitch together a perfect game to topple the mighty Australia, who are the record five-time champions and are in their seventh successive final. South Africa have made rapid strides over the past 12 months and after making the semifinals of the ODI World Cup last year, they entered their maiden final of an ICC event here on Friday.
In Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits, a former world junior javelin champion whose Olympic dream was shattered in 2012 due to a car accident, South Africa have one of the best opening pairings in the tournament.
They both go into the final in top form and are vital to the team’s chances against Australia who managed to beat India in the semifinals despite not playing their best game.
All-rounder Marizanne Kapp is another important player for South Africa and produced a much needed cameo in the semis.
The crowd will be fully behind South Africa and the home team will look to feed off them like they did on Friday.
Australia had comfortably beaten South Africa in the group stage but they will be wary of them in the title clash.
Australia, who by far have been the most successful side in women’s cricket history, look good to extend their dominance.
They have all bases covered and no total is safe when they are chasing. India needed only 39 off the last five overs but Australia did not give up and gave their 100 per cent on the field to wrest the game in their favour.
Champion outfits find a way of winning even when things are not going their way and the Meg Lanning-led side is known for that.
South African opener Britz was asked about Australia’s undisputed rule over the game after the famous win over England on Friday.
“I’m a bit too straight forward, so I’m trying to work on that because I like to say things as they come – but the end of the day cricket is a very funny game and Australia might be the top but at the end of the day, you play the ball you don’t play the players, and I think that’s what we did in this England side.
“We didn’t play England that we always lost to and it’s a constant reminder that I heard I was never in that. You know the semi-finals when they lost is the first semi-final I’ve ever been in and the first time against England so we’ll take it as it comes but very excited to go to the final,” said the opener.
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Alyssa Healy, Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham.
South Africa: Sune Luus (c), Annerie Dercksen, Marizanne Kapp, Lara Goodall, Ayabonga Khaka, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Tazmin Brits, Masabata Klaas, Laura Wolvaardt, Sinalo Jafta, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Anneke Bosch and Delmi Tucker.
Match starts 6.30 PM IST.
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