World dominance is driving Australia’s pursuit of a sixth T20 world title as they prepare to take on first-time finalists South Africa in the decider in Cape Town on Sunday.
That’s the view of Australia allrounder Ashleigh Gardner, player of the match from their five-run victory over India in the semi-final on Thursday.
‘Obviously, coming to a World Cup, you want to be World Cup champions,’ Gardner said after her match-winning 18-ball 31 and 2-37.
‘So, we want to be champions of the world. We want to win everything. I think every team wants to do that, but we certainly don’t want to leave here without a medal.
‘I hate losing. I think everyone hates losing. So, I feel like that’s probably one of the things that people always think about.
‘But it’s just being able to, I guess, as a team, we always say that we want to keep evolving. And ultimately if we’re evolving as athletes and as individuals, we are going to get better.’
Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner delivers a ball during the semi-final T20 women’s World Cup cricket match between Australia and India
Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning and Ashleigh Gardner of Australia celebrate reaching the World Cup final
South Africa fast bowler Shabnim Ismail said the hosts will look to utilise their familiarity with the Australians at the WBBL to pull off an upset.
‘We know exactly what we can expect against the Australian team, which is a world-class team,’ Ismail said on Friday after South Africa, who have not dropped a game since losing to Sri Lanka in their tournament opener, beat England by six runs in the second semi-final at Newlands.
The 34-year-old, who is a regular in the Australian domestic T20 competition along with many of her South Africa teammates, added: ‘They’ve got a batting line-up from one to basically maybe eight-nine, and we speak about obviously getting into the tail.’
Shabnim Ismail of South Africa celebrates getting the wicket of Sophia Dunkley during their win over England
Australia have never lost to South Africa in any World Cup across eight fixtures in the ODI format and six in the T20I equivalent.
In the group stages of the ongoing eighth edition of the 20-over showpiece, Tahlia McGrath’s 33-ball 57 trumped Tazmin Brits’ 36-ball 45 to set up Australia’s six-wicket win in Gqeberha.
Ismail believes piling on pressure against a ‘calm’ Australia will be key to South Africa’s chances of clinching the country’s first-ever World Cup among men and women.
‘To be honest, I don’t actually think Australia was put under immense pressure throughout this whole World Cup and in other World Cups as well,’ Ismail said.
‘So, just for us to go out there and put the pressure on the first five-six batters. And we know that at the back end we can defend anything.
‘We know we have a strong bowling unit and just for the batters to come out and play brave cricket, that’s what’s going to get us over the line.’
Ellyse Perry celebrates with Tahlia McGrath after taking a catch to dismiss India’s Radha Yadav
The same surface that saw a full 80 overs bowled across the two semi-finals will be used for the final.
The two knockouts yielded 661 runs for the loss of 24 wickets, 14 of those going to pacers and eight to spinners.
In both games chasing teams India and England lost the toss and ended up losing.
The pitch was deemed ‘good’ by most players from the four semi-finalists and described as ‘flat’ by South Africa quick Marizanne Kapp.
Gardner said they were hoping to score 170-180.
‘I think that’s definitely defendable, especially in a World Cup final.
‘It’s obviously high pressure, but yeah … if you bowl well enough, you can certainly defend that.’
Rain is not predicted for Sunday but in the unlikely event of a washout the reserve day will come into play.
Source of data and images: dailymail
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World dominance is driving Australia’s pursuit of a sixth T20 world title as they prepare to take on first-time finalists South Africa in the decider in Cape Town on Sunday. That’s the view of Australia allrounder Ashleigh Gardner, player of the match from their five-run victory over India in the semi-final on Thursday. ‘Obviously, coming …
The post Australia face resurgent South African women’s team in T20 World Cup cricket final first appeared on Elrisala. Sports – Elrisala