SA stand in way of England cup final

18 July 2017 - 11:31 By AFP
Australia's Meg Lanning in action. File photo.
Australia's Meg Lanning in action. File photo.

England would book a place in the Women's World Cup cricket final if they beat South Africa today as they go in search of a first major trophy in eight years.

The two sides meet in the first semifinal in Bristol, where they played out a record-breaking encounter earlier in the tournament.

"We all need to be on form heading into the semifinal," said England opener Tammy Beaumont.

England will have to, once again, overcome South Africa's new-ball duo Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, described as the "best opening pair in the world" by South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk.

Maybe the most-improved side in women's cricket, this is South Africa's first World Cup semifinal since 2000.

Whoever wins this contest will play either reigning champions Australia or India in Sunday's final at Lord's.

Australia captain Meg Lanning is expected to return in the semifinal at Derby on Thursday after being rested for the concluding group win over South Africa in an attempt to prevent her aggravating a shoulder injury.

Lanning, the No1-ranked ODI batsman, missed two of the group stage matches yet still struck 328 runs.

Although favourites to progress, Australia come up against an India side that have enjoyed playing in Derby, winning all four of their matches at the Midlands ground.