South Africa to take the battle to England in World Cup semi-final

CAPE TOWN (Reuters): Hosts South Africa will take the attack to more fancied England in Friday’s Women’s World Cup semi-final at Newlands, as captain Sune Luus believes they have “nothing to lose” in their bid for a first ever final spot.

England have been superb with bat and ball and looked untroubled in reaching the knock-out stages, while South Africa needed a nervous victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday to book their berth.

“There is no pressure on us, we can go out and enjoy the moment and try and do our best,” Luus told reporters.

“It was hard work to get here (the semi-finals). We are still searching for that perfect game were all aspects click and work together.”

Middle-order batter Luus believes the only way to counter England is to attack them and try to turn up the pressure.

“They play a very attacking brand but that can play to our advantage. Once they lose a wicket they keep playing aggressively so that creates an opportunity for us. We also need to play attacking cricket from the start of the game,” she said.

South Africa have been to the semi-finals of the last two 50-over World Cups and reached the last four in the previous T20 tournament in 2020. They have five semi-final appearances in all in white-ball cricket without ever making the decider.

“We have been on the opposite side too many times, we know how it feels (to lose at this stage). That gives us enough motivation to go out there and just enjoy it with nothing to lose,” added Luus.

“We need to stay focused on the basics and do the simple things right. That will give us the best chance.”

Luus suggested the Newlands wicket may be more partial to pace, which could limit the impact of England’s much-vaunted spinners led by Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Charlie Dean.

“I have heard there are good signs (for pace in the wicket). All our pace bowlers can make something work. If we can take the spinners out of the game early, they (England) will be on the back foot in terms of who they go to.

“They (England’s spinners) have been excellent in this tournament.”

South Africa have won three of their 23 international T20 fixtures against England, though the last of those wins came in Perth at the previous World Cup exactly three years ago.