The 2022 women’s ODI World Cup is down to four teams, with Australia and West Indies to meet on Wednesday in the first semi-final.
Australia vs West Indies
Australia have already ruled out superstar allrounder Ellyse Perry for the semi-final, with the 31-year-old failing to recover from back spasms in time. The bowling will be boosted by the inclusion of Darcie Brown, who missed the round-robin stage against the West Indies when Perry claimed 3-22, with all her wickets coming inside the Powerplay while young pace-bowling allrounder Annabel Sutherland is likely to retain her spot in the XI.
The late-breaking news for West Indies was the revelation on Tuesday evening that spinner Afy Fletcher had tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the match, replaced in the squad by Mandy Mangru. The Windies will hope nobody else wakes with symptoms on Wednesday morning, with the news the last thing they wanted on the eve of a knockout game.
Australia advanced through the round-robin stage unbeaten but were forced to dig deep at various stages. They held off a fast-finishing England in their opening game in Hamilton. While wins over Pakistan, New Zealand and West Indies were routine, Australia had to pull off the two biggest chases in tournament history to beat India and South Africa.
West Indies had a dream start to the tournament, with Hayley Matthews’ century and Deandra Dottin’s brilliant death over securing a win over New Zealand. They backed up with a thrilling seven-run victory against England. Heavy defeats to India and Australia followed before they edged home against Bangladesh. A loss to Pakistan had their campaign on the line, but a single point taken from a washout against South Africa was enough to get them through.
England vs South Africa
England’s Women cricketers came into the ICC World Cup as the reigning champions, desperate to hold on to their Trophy.
However, after starting the tournament with three straight defeats, a place in the top four was looking further away. It became more a story of survival rather than winning.
England started with a 12 run loss to Australia, a seven-run loss to West Indies, and a three-wicket loss to South Africa before turning around their misfortunes.
South Africa have lost just one match at this tournament. Australia beat South Africa by five wickets on Monday, 21 March, but aside from this, the South Africans have had a nail-biting contest.
South Africa beat Bangladesh by 32 runs in their opening game and have gone on to steal wins away from Pakistan, England, New Zealand, and India, winning by six runs, three wickets, two wickets, and three wickets with minimal balls remaining.
While South Africa may have beaten England earlier in the tournament, England had just thumped them in the warm-up matches and had the edge in their last meetups in 2020.