Women's T20 World Cup: India to lock horns with England; South Africa to battle it out against Australia in semis

With the match between South Africa and West Indies abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain on Tuesday, the Proteas women have overhauled England and have ended up with the top spot in Group B of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

On the other hand, India finished at the top of Group A after winning all their games in the group stage. The Eves in Blue will now lock horns with England in the first semi-final on March 5, while South Africa will battle it out against Australia on the same day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India is the only team to win all the four games in the group stage. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led team defeated Australia in the opening game and later registered comprehensive wins against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Talking about the Indian women's team who haven't reached the World Cup finals even once, Australia pacer Brett Lee said that the Indian team consists of match winners like Shafali Verma and Poonam Yadav and it will require "an excellent team" to stop them from making it to the finals of the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup.

"They've never reached the final, but this is a different India team from the one they've seen before. They've combined match-winners in Shafali Verma and Poonam Yadav with consistent players with both bat and ball," Lee said.

16-year-old Shafali has so far scored 161 runs in the four innings at a strike rate of 161. She has hit 18 fours and 9 sixes and has played crucial role in India's progress to the last-four stage.

In the bowling department, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav is tournament's leading wicket-taker so far and has taken nine wickets.

Hosts Australia have won the tournament four times, while England won the inaugural edition back in 2009. India have reached the semi-finals on three occasions but never reached the final two.

The final will be held on Sunday, March 8 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal