India, Australia, England and South Africa will fight every inch to make it to the MCG final

The four-time champions, as well as the defending champions Australia, are up against South Africa in the second semi-final that will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.

 

Georgia Wareham
Georgia Wareham celebrating a wicket. Pic Credits: ICC

 

Aussie skipper Meg Lanning is cognizant of the fact that the Proteas ‘won’t give an inch’ as they come out all guns blazing to make it to their first-ever World T20 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The hosts have had a topsy-turvy ride in the group stage. They lost to India in the World T20 opener then they managed to win a tough match against Sri Lanka and finally got the better of New Zealand in the virtual quarter-final to seal a place in the semi-final. Going into the semis, Australia will miss the services of their star player Ellyse Perry, who is ruled out of the competition due to injury.

The 29-year old all-rounder has never missed a single match at the World T20 since its inception in 2009. Despite being ruled out of the competition, Perry has remained with the squad and has been offering invaluable advice to team-mates.

“Ellyse is a very experienced player and big-game player as well. She knows what it takes to perform under pressure and that’s going to be really handy for us tomorrow. We have had our meetings and everything. She has been a really good contributor and always is. She’s kept a really brave face for the team. She’s dealing with it as well as she could have,” averred Lanning.

All the four semi-finalists; India, England, South Africa and Australia are rearing to play the final at the iconic MCG in front of a packed stadium on March 8 and are all prepared to put their best foot forward on Thursday.

“It’s massive and we haven’t looked any further ahead than Thursday. Semi-finals are extremely hard to win at World Cups. It’s the four best teams in the tournament and there are no inches given by any team. We’re extremely excited about the opportunity to come up against South Africa who have played really well through the tournament. There’s a lot of chatter about the final from the outside, and it’s going to be a great event on Sunday no matter who’s playing. We want to be part of that but so do the other three teams,” said Meg Lanning, captain, Australia.

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On Thursday, when the hosts take on South Africa at the sprawling SCG, it will be their T20I at the iconic venue. Previously they have defeated New Zealand in 2009 and India in 2016.

Hosting a World Cup can be both, a boon as well as a bane. While there is tremendous support for the home team, there is also pressure to perform. The four-time champions will have the crowd behind them. The only thing they have to ensure is that the opposition is not able to silence this crowd.

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