Match 25 of the ICC Women’s World Cup was played between Australia and South Africa at County Ground, Taunton, on Saturday. All eight teams were in action today, playing their last group stage matches. Australia’s dominance continued as they comprehensively beat South Africa by 59 runs.
Meg Lanning decided not to feature in today’s clash due to a shoulder injury. Rachael Haynes replaced Lanning and got the added responsibility of captaining her side, as per usual. She won the toss, elected to bat first in slightly overcast conditions: Australian openers provided them with a steady start, scoring 114 for the first wicket from 21.3 overs. Captain Haynes fell for a duck to Dane van Niekerk who is also the leading wicket taker of the tournament. Ellyse Perry ended up with another half century; she now has 5 in this world cup. But after her departure the Aussie innings started to wobble as Proteas made a comeback by taking wickets at regular intervals. Australia’s last six wickets fell for 40, leggie Sune Luus took 5/67 and Aussies were all out for 269 with 9 balls to spare. South Africa got off to a solid start courtesy Laura Wolvaardt’s brilliant batting; she made 71 before giving her wicket away on the last ball of the thirty-third over to captain Haynes due to the pressure built by the Aussie spinners. The score was 148/4 after Wolvaardt’s dismissal, Proteas only managed to score 62 runs after that.
Today’s win means Australia have ended up the group stage with 6 wins out of 7 matches, 12 points and a net run-rate of +1.004. They have the same number of points as England (the table toppers) but a lower net run-rate meant they finish second on the table. Australia will face India in the 2nd semi-final on Thursday at County Ground, Derby. India are yet to lose a match in Derby. It is safe to say, we’ll be witnessing one cracking contest on Thursday. Don’t miss out.
South Africa would be disappointed with today’s result but they need to regroup before their semi-final against England on Tuesday. South Africa have played some mind-blowing cricket to reach the semis, they’ve won 4 matches out of 7, lost 2 and one match got abandoned due to rain. The last time these two teams met, we saw a run-fest which was eventually won by England. Proteas won’t shy away from the contest and will give it their all in the first semi-final against the hosts.
Australia v South Africa ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
The classy left-hander Nicole Bolton was the top scorer of today’s match. Her innings of 79 runs provided Australia with a steady start. Bolton hit 10 fours and has hit form just at the right time. Aussies will be hoping she provides a similar start in the knockout stage as well.
The stand-in captain Haynes struck in the 31st and 33rd over of the match; she first got rid of Preez and then in the next over got the prized wicket of Wolvaardt who was batting on 71. These two wickets led to South Africa’s batting collapse and they only managed to score 210.
Laura Wolvaardt falls for 71 to Rachel Haynes