Phoebe Graham anticipates Sunday’s T20 World Cup final between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town, saying the host nation has the chance to change the face of women’s sport in the country…
South Africa beating England is a historic moment in their sporting history.
They are now in their first T20 World Cup Final and, as host nation, the stage is set for them to change the face of women’s sport in their country.
Siya Kolisi was in the semi-finals and spoke about the impact created when South Africa won the 2020 Men’s Rugby Union World Cup. “Sport has the power to unite a nation and this is a great opportunity for women’s sport in our country. country,” he said.
Kolisi is an ally of women’s sport and her presence only added to the atmosphere at a packed Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.
‘South Africa calm and calculated while England feel pressure’
South Africa played out of their skin to knock the game away from one of the tournament favorites England. They played a different style to the fearless and courageous type of cricket in England. They were calm and calculated.
They only scored 37 on the powerplay after deciding to bat, but as they didn’t lose a wicket it allowed them to step up.
The frustration of Laura Wolvaardt (53 for 44) and Tazmin Brits (68 for 55) showing calm and class unsettled England and the pressure got to them. We saw field errors, bad shots and plans not executed.
As usual, Sophie Eccelestone came forward and took Wolvaardt’s breakthrough wicket. It was a big point in the game, but not enough to contain South Africa, who scored 164 from their 20 overs.
Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s last over was 18 runs, including a breast-high no-ball that was hit for four. She was visibly irritated at the earlier balances that seeped into the team’s energy. It is the first time that England have been pressured and lost the composure we are used to seeing.
He left a great task for England. He played his new brand of fearless cricket, but it would require nerves of steel and a great performance with the bat. They started in true style, reaching 53 in five overs, and it looked like a comfortable chase.
However, South Africa displayed excellent fielding and athleticism. The Brits made four brilliant catches, including a diving one to dismiss Alice Capsey. The hosts were excellent – they had clear, calm plans and went for slower, cutting balls on the kill as the pitch started to fray.
England needed just under two balls for the last five overs. Looked to be in control, but an excellent late 18th by Ayabonga Khaka, taking three wickets, put victory in South Africa’s hands. It was a brilliant display by the team with bat, ball and on the field.
South Africa’s teamwork has helped them and their players are at their peak at the right time, but Australia will be the outright favourites, with all their big guns firing at bat and down the pitch.
‘Australia won the moments that mattered against India’
Both semi-finals were competitive, high-goal games won by narrow margins. What impressed me the most were the three things they had in common: frame racing, clinical pitch, and ability to absorb pressure.
Australia is known as a nation for displaying these qualities, which is why they are champions again and yet to be beaten in this tournament.
Ellyse Perry saved two runs with a diving stop in the penultimate defeat against India, Ashleigh Gardner bowled out Harmanpreet Kaur for 52 as India were running away from the game. Australia knew how to win the moments that really mattered in the game and kept calm on the pitch.
What shocked us about this tournament is that South Africa came out on top. Its stars rose to the top, with the Brits, Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail, Khaka and Marizanne Kapp arriving at exactly the right time.
They made their intentions clear ahead of the tournament with the national team, leaving Dane van Niekerk out for fitness reasons, sending a strong message to girls and boys who aspire to play at the top.
I’m supporting South Africa. I hope they go there and inspire all the girls and boys watching and help change the face of women’s sport in their country.
They have made their nation so proud thus far. Let’s hope they succeed once again against the dominant Aussies.
Watch the T20 Women’s World Cup Final between Australia and South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket on Sunday. Coverage begins at 12:30 pm before the first ball at 1:00 pm.