Date – Sunday, 23rd February 2020
Time – 7 pm (Local Time), 4:30 pm (IST)
Venue – WACA, Perth
4th Match – England vs South Africa – Women’s T20 World Cup 2020
With the World T20 underway with teams from both groups playing their first matches, England would be facing South Africa in their first match of the tournament at the WACA on Sunday. Both belong to Group B, with other teams in the group being West Indies, Pakistan, and Thailand.
England has always been among the front-runners in this tournament. Barring a small blip in the 2010 edition where the failure to qualify for the semis, they have always progressed to the knockouts. In fact, they end up progressing to the finals having played the finals on 4 occasions.
However, they have been crowned champions only once, going as far back as the inaugural edition of 2009. Since then, they have not been able to get past Australia in the knockouts losing to them in the semi-finals in 2016 and in the finals in 2012, 2014 and 2018. They will, once again, look to start on a winning note and progress to the knockouts.
On the other hand, South Africa has struggled to qualify for the knockouts, barely managing to reach the semi-finals once in 2014 on the basis of net-run-rate over New Zealand. However, the team that eliminated them is the same team they will play on Sunday – England. They may have a chance to return the favor if they manage to beat them.
England Vs South Africa – Head-to-Head
England has a commendable record against South Africa in this format. They have played against each other in 18 matches so far with England winning 15 times and South Africa winning only twice. One match was rained off. In World T20s, they have faced each other thrice with England emerging victorious in all three attempts.
With this record, England is likely to defeat South Africa yet again. However, they have not played each other since the 2018 World T20, so it remains to be seen whether South Africa can pull off a surprise.
England – LWWLW
South Africa – LWLLW
(Last 5 completed matches)
England has won 3 of their last 5 matches. They came to Australia winning against Pakistan in the T20I series 3-0. In the most recent outing as a part of the tri-series before this tournament, they faced Australia and India twice each. However, they won only one of their two games against each of them. They could only win their match against Australia in the Super Over and lost the next game against them in a match that they were in a good position for most of the game. Their loss by such a margin meant that they could not progress to the finals, which may have dented their confidence. To add insult to injury, they were also thrashed by Sri Lanka in the practice match of the tournament.
South Africa is a vastly improved side compared to what they were a few years’ backs as they have shown in the recent tour to New Zealand. Against the White Ferns, they won the ODI series 3-0 before losing to them in the T20Is 3-1. However, that ODI series win against a top side like New Zealand would have given them plenty of confidence ahead of this tournament.
Although England is a more consistent team on paper, losses like the ones in the tri-series and the practice match will be in their heads. This is the perfect time for South Africa to show their improvement as a team and cause an upset. England, meanwhile, would want to be as professional as they can be and start with a win under their belt to get back some of the confidence that they may have lost.
England Squad – Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kathryn Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt, Mady Villiers
England has a good mix of experience and fresh talent coming into the tournament. Amy Jones, while hitting a rough patch, can lay a solid platform for her side with Danielle Wyatt. Heather Knight and Natalie Sciver are very experienced all-rounders who can guide the middle order through the overs and continue to build from the platform provided by the openers. They also possess some strong hitters such as Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt and Fran Wilson who can provide the finishing touches. Their bowling line-up is built around the pace bowler Anya Shrubsole and the spinner Sophie Ecclestone. Much will depend on them along with the bowling of the all-rounders Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, and Katherine Brunt. Freya Davies, Sarah Glenn, and Mady Villiers will hope to make their debut in the tournament.
South Africa Squad – Dane van Niekerk (captain), Chloe Tryon, 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
The South African side has an experienced group of core players who will be expected to make heavy contributions throughout the tournament. Lizelle Lee is a hard-hitting batter and can take on the bowling early in the innings. Dane van Niekerk is a reliable all-rounder along with Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez, and Sune Luus. Shabnim Ismail will be expected to lead a relatively inexperienced bowling unit consisting of Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas, Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkululeko Mlaba. The all-rounders will also be contributing quite heavily with the ball.
Players to Watch out for
Heather Knight (England)
The charismatic English skipper likes to lead from the front and should be playing a very important role with the bat and ball as she has been playing in the past. She can build long innings, having scored 3 half-centuries. Expect her to make a vital contribution while batting and bowling a useful spell for her side and picking up a few wickets. With 70 T20I matches under her belt, her experience will come in handy as England look to work through another tournament as one of the contenders.
Natalie Sciver (England)
Alongside her skipper, Natalie Sciver is equally skilled and experienced in guiding her team through the tournament. With her innovative strokeplay, especially the ‘natmeg’, a shot which became famous in the 50-over World Cup in 2017, she is capable of accelerating the scoring in the later stage of the innings in the company of the middle order. With over 1200 runs including 5 half-centuries in this format, she will hope to end her run of bad scores and start afresh to get back to her destructive best.
Dan van Niekerk (South Africa)
Heather’s opposite number, Dan van Niekerk, is a very capable middle-order batter and will be looking to anchor the innings should the openers fail. She has played 79 T20Is scoring 1776 runs with as many as 10 half-centuries. She has also picked up 59 wickets, showing that she is an effective bowler as well, to add to her batting skills.
Lizelle Lee (South Africa)
South Africa’s hard-hitting opener will set the tone for her side while batting. Having scored 1500+ runs with as many as 11 half-centuries and a strike rate of over a run-a-ball, she will look to score rapidly looking forward to building a strong foundation for her team. Her contribution will help South Africa in building the score further with the help of their experienced all-rounders.
Anya Shrubsole (England)
With her raw pace, Anya Shrubsole is the leader of the English bowling line-up. Her pace is what turned the game for England in the finals of the 50-over World Cup against India in 2017. With 93 wickets from 71 games, she is England’s top wicket-taker. The track will favor her style of bowling as she looks forward to making inroads into the South African batting line-up.
Pitch & Conditions
The match is being played at the WACA, which has traditionally favored fast bowlers with a lot of bounce and carry. In the lone Women’s T20I match played here between West Indies and Thailand (at the time of writing), West Indies chased down the target with ease. There have also been 21 Women’s Big Bash League matches played here out of which 7 has been won by the teams batting first and 14 by the teams batting second. Whoever wins the toss, will like to field first on this ground, make use of the conditions to restrict their opponent to a chaseable score and try chasing down the target.
The temperature in Perth will be 21 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius, with cloudy skies. A few rain showers are expected in the night which will reinforce the decision of bowling first as the DLS method might come into play.
We are expecting a cracker of a match. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.