South Africa aim to seal semi-final spot against depleted Pakistan

South Africa celebrate the fall of a wicket. © T20WorldCup/Twitter

With two wins from as many games, South Africa would like to seal the semi-final spot when they face a depleted Pakistan in a crucial Group B encounter in Sydney on Sunday (March 1). Both South Africa and England are sitting one-two in the points table with four points but the Dane van Niekerk-led side have played a game less.

South Africa have reached the semi-finals only once in the history of the T20 World Cups, and with the form the players are in it at the moment, it looks certain for the Proteas to make their second appearance in the knockouts.

Fresh from a brilliant ton against Thailand, Lizelle Lee will be hungry for more. Along with opening partner and captain Dane van Niekerk, she would like to lay a solid foundation for others to follow. The middle-order have also performed well in both the matches and it wouldn’t be a problem for them.

The collective effort from the South African bowlers has also helped their cause as the Proteas never let the opposition go beyond the 125-run mark. While they restricted England 123 for 8 in their opener, they bundled Thailand for just 82.

On the other hand, things couldn’t have been worse for Pakistan as they lost skipper Bismah Maroof due to a thumb injury she suffered against England. Maroof didn’t attend the post-match formalities and instead, it was vice-captain Javeria Khan who spoke after the match, mentioning that the captain had left the field to take an X-ray. Javeria will lead the side in her absence for the rest of the tournament.

Pakistan opened their campaign in style stunning former champions West Indies by eight wickets. They were however exposed against England losing the match by 42 runs. Pakistan’s bowling so far has been average but they need to uplift their batting too in order to spring a surprise. Both West Indies and Pakistan are on two points each in as many games and a win here for the Women in Green would open up the group once again.

Squads:

South Africa: Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk (c), Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Chloe Tryon, Sune Luus, Lizelle Lee, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Laura Wolvaardt, Nadine de Klerk, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba.

Pakistan: Javeria Khan (c), Diana Baig, Nahida Khan, Nida Dar, Iram Javed, Anam Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Aliya Riaz, Muneeba Ali, Aiman Anwer, Omaima Sohail, Fatima Sana, Sadia Iqbal, Syeda Aroob Shah, Ayesha Naseem.