Hot off the heels of an encouraging victory over Sri Lanka, in which captain Heather Knight continued her fine form and Sarah Taylor scored her first half-century of the ICC Women’s World Cup, England will take on South Africa at Bristol. Can they make it three wins on the bounce?
South Africa have started very positively in this tournament, most notably because of their bowlers. Openers Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail pose a significant threat and Kapp has been one of the best bowlers on show so far. Ismail holds a claim to be the fastest bowler in the world while Kapp – a Surrey Stars player in the Kia Super League – will ask questions of England’s line-up. They’ve also got two leg-spinners in the shape of captain Dane van Niekerk, who took 0-4 in their demolition of the West Indies, and Sune Luus.
Opening bowler Katherine Brunt will be the first to admit she didn’t quite get it right against India in England’s curtain-raiser but the way she’s responded since has been impressive. She took two wickets against Pakistan at Leicester but it was at Taunton – despite ending wicketless – where she most excelled, finding pace and swing to beat the bat on a number of occasions. She celebrated her 32nd birthday on Sunday and perhaps the best present could be a hat-full of wickets at Bristol tomorrow.
photos Janos Schmidt