England have 'clean slate' for semi-final v South Africa
|ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final: England v South Africa|
|Venue: Brightside Ground, Bristol Date: Tuesday, 18 July Start time: 10:30 BST|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW and online; in-play highlights and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app|
South Africa will “come out hard” in the Women’s World Cup semi-final to avenge defeat by England in the group stages, says Tammy Beaumont.
The England opener hit 148 as England beat South Africa by 68 runs on 5 July in Bristol, where Tuesday’s semi-final will also be played.
Despite victory, England conceded their highest one-day total of 305 runs.
“It is going to be a clean slate on Tuesday with a lot more to play for,” said Beaumont, 26.
After an opening defeat by India, England won six consecutive matches to finish top of the group, while South Africa finished fourth.
Defending champions Australia take on India in the other semi-final in Derby on Thursday for a place in the final at Lord’s on Sunday.
“We have put the loss to India behind us and we have gone from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed,” added Beaumont, who is the tournament’s top run-scorer with 372.
“The best part of our squad is that someone different steps up every single game. [captain] Heather Knight was excellent against West Indies with a really crucial knock and Alex Hartley with the ball.
“It is really key that everyone is on song for the semi-final – South Africa have a really good all-round team to suit all sorts of pitches, they have a lot of pace up front and then leg-spinners in the middle and some pretty destructive batters.”
‘There’s no pressure on us’ – Van Niekerk
England have won 18 of their previous 19 one-day internationals against South Africa, who are playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 2000.
The Proteas have the leading wicket-taker in this year’s event, with captain Dane van Niekerk, 24, having claimed 15 wickets in her six matches so far.
“We’re excited, we know any team that is in the semi-final are going to be tough to beat so we’re going to have to bring our very best,” said Van Niekerk.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us at all, I don’t think most people thought we would be here – in that sense I’m very proud of the girls.
“I’m really excited to be in this position and the girls are really excited for the challenge ahead.”