WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Best bowlers vs top batters when SA play hosts
Do not make plans that might get in the way of you watching England’s innings against SA in their World Cup semifinal in Bristol on Tuesday.
That the match will be a contest between England’s batters and the Proteas’ bowlers is apparent from a glance at the rankings.
Tammy Beaumont‚ Heather Knight‚ Natalie Sciver and Sarah Taylor — Englishwomen all — are among the top 10 runscorers at the tournament. All four have scored a century at the World Cup. Sciver has two hundreds.
South African bowlers Dane van Niekerk‚ Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail all lurk among the top 10 leading wicket-takers. Between them they own four of the dozen hauls of four wickets or more taken at the tournament.
Leg spinner Van Niekerk is the only bowler to take at least four more than once. The South African captain has done so three times in six games.
Earlier in the tournament Van Niekerk took 4/0 against the West Indies and 4/22 against India. Her feat in the West Indies match made her the first bowler in international cricket, male or female, to take four wickets without conceding a run.
Suné Luus took 5/67 in SA’s last round-robin game against Sri Lanka in Taunton on Saturday — one of only four five-wicket hauls claimed at this World Cup.
England’s most successful bowler is slow left-armer Alex Hartley‚ who is 13th on the list‚ while SA’s best batsman is Lizelle Lee‚ who is 11th. All of which has earned SA their second trip to the semis in the six editions of the tournament in which they have featured.
The first time‚ in 2000‚ they were drilled by nine wickets by Australia. But this is a different team playing with a different confidence and planning a different outcome.
"Once you get into the semifinal there’s no ‘this is a more superior team’ or ‘this is the inferior team’‚" Luus said. "I think everyone is equal once they have reached this stage. Both teams have done really well to get there — there’s a reason why every team is in the semifinal."
And‚ of course‚ in the final.