England opener Tammy Beaumont says her team’s victory over South Africa in the group stage of the Women’s World Cup will count for nothing when the two sides face each other in the first semifinal here tomorrow.
England have won six games in a row – including a 68-run victory over South Africa – following their opening defeat by India. South Africa have won four, lost two and had one game washed out due to rain.
But with a place in the Lord’s final the prize for Tuesday’s winner, Beaumont says both teams go into the game with a clean slate.
“We did beat them in the group game, but it is going to be a clean slate on Tuesday with a lot more to play for and they will come out hard and try and make up for that defeat in the group stages,” she said.
“We have put the loss to India behind us and we have gone from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed, there are still a few areas our coach will want us to work on but that is the good thing about us, we always want to learn and we always want to get better.”
Beaumont is the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 372 runs from her seven innings but she says that England’s main strength is the ability for other players to step up and perform when needed.
“I think the best part of our squad is that someone different steps up every single game. 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 semifinal. South Africa have a really good all round team, they have a 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.”
Beaumont may be the highest scoring batter in the tournament so far, but she and England will come up against the tournament’s leading wicket taker in Dane van Niekerk.
The South Africa captain has taken 15 wickets in her six games so far in the WWC and she believes the pressure is all on the tournament hosts.
“We are excited, we know any team that is in the semi-final is going to be tough to beat so we’re going to have to bring our very best,” said the South African skipper.
“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 am very proud of the girls, it’s our first semi-final since 2000.”, she concluded.