Match Preview – SA WMN vs AUS WMN, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2022/23, Final
Big Picture: A sellout at Newlands
South Africa WWLWL (all completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Australia’s batting vs South Africa’s bowling
Don’t forget the home crowd. An additional 3,000 tickets were made available for the upper tiers at Newlands on Saturday morning and they had all been snapped up by mid-afternoon. Australia know what it’s like to play with a packed house behind them and now that the South African side can expect the same, there’s no telling what that could do.
Team news: Jonassen over King for Australia?
While it was pace duo Ismail and Khaka who did the damage in the semi-final, they have a top-class spinner in Mlaba in their midst too. South Africa played their best XI against England and are unlikely to change that winning formula for the final.
South Africa (possible): 1 Tazmin Brits, 2 Laura Wolvaardt, 3 Marizanne Kapp, 4 Suné Luus (capt), 5 Chloe Tryon, 6 Anneke Bosch, 7 Nadine de Klerk, 8 Sinalo Jafta (wk), 9 Shabnim Ismail, 10 Ayabonga Khaka, 11 Nonkululeko Mlaba
Australia have all players available for selection heading into the final. They replaced legspinner Alana King with left-arm spinner Jonassen for the semi-final against India and Jonassen’s bowling at the death was a key factor in Australia’s five-run victory so it would be no surprise to see her retain her place.
Australia (possible): 1 Alyssa Healy (wk), 2 Beth Mooney, 3 Meg Lanning (capt), 4 Ashleigh Gardner, 5 Ellyse Perry, 6 Tahlia McGrath, 7 Grace Harris, 8 Georgia Wareham, 9 Jess Jonassen, 10 Megan Schutt, 11 Darcie Brown
Pitch and conditions
The match will be played on the same Newlands pitch that staged both semi-finals where pace played a part, particularly early in England’s chase as Ismail unleashed her thunderbolts. But by the following day it was looking fairly brown with some cracks appearing under a baking sun and with a drying wind about. Another sunny day is forecast with temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius expected. Almost bang in the centre of the ground, the on- and off-side boundaries are pretty much equidistant.
Stats and trivia
- Australia have won all six of the T20Is between these sides and 14 of 15 ODIs. The only time South Africa avoided defeat was in a tied game in 2016.
- Brits and Wolvaardt have shared 299 partnership runs between them so far. Only Healy and Mooney (352 runs in 2020) have added more runs together in an edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup.
- Healy has five fifties in her last 10 innings at the Women’s T20 World Cup, where she has scored 407 runs at an average of 45.22 and a strike rate of 138.43.
“We know we’re probably not going to be the team that everyone’s cheering for but that’s fine, you know it’s going to be an incredible atmosphere and an incredible game at an amazing venue – so we’re pumped, we can’t wait to get out here and play and no doubt it’s going to be a great contest.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning is ready to not feel at home.
“That is just it, my friend. It’s history, understand? Tomorrow, it’s a one-off game. You can’t be worrying about Australia and what they’re doing.”
South Africa coach Hilton Moreeng on how to beat the five-time champions who have won 19 of their last 20 T20Is and gone undefeated through the tournament.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo