South Africa will be eyeing a dream finish on home soil when they face the mighty Australian team in the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday,
Sune Luus and Co have become the first team from South Africa, female or male, to reach the final of a cricket World Cup and will be determined to go a step further and bag the coveted trophy.
However, South Africa face arguably the toughest challenge in the sport in the form of Australia. Meg Lanning’s team are the defending champions, with the Aussies having won the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup a record five times.
The two teams have faced each other six times in women’s T20Is, with all those matches happening at the World Cup, and Australia emerged victorious on each occasion.
Here’s a statistical preview for the final:
SA vs Australia at ICC Women's T20 World Cup
|Aus won||24 runs||Aus||Taunton||16 Jun 2009|
| Aus won||24 runs||SA||Basseterre||7 May 2010|
| Aus won||6 wickets||SA||Sylhet||25 Mar 2014|
| Aus won||6 wickets||SA||Nagpur||18 Mar 2016|
| Aus won||5 runs||SA||Sydney||5 Mar 2020|
| Aus won||6 wickets||Aus||Gqeberha||18 Feb 2023|
Road to the final
- Australia are unbeaten in this tournament, so far, and have won 19 of their last 20 women’s T20Is. This is also the seventh consecutive time that they have qualified for an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final. The Meg Lanning-led side will be confident of lifting the silverware for a record sixth time.
- As for South Africa, this is their first appearance in the final of an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. They were defeated by this Australian side in the group stage encounter. However, they will be eager to leverage their home conditions and carry their confidence from the semi-final win to get hold of the trophy for the first time.
- Meg Lanning is currently the second-highest run-getter for Australia in the tournament (Runs: 139, Avg: 69.5, SR: 115.8). She has been a hefty contributor in winning causes for Australia in ICC Women’s T20 World Cups, averaging a brilliant 48.8 at a strike-rate of 115.3 in those 25 innings. Lanning has participated in five T20 World Cup finals and she has played an integral part (Runs: 165, Avg: 41.3, SR: 111.5). The skipper will once again be a vital cog for the reigning champions.
- Tazmin Brits, the leading the run-scoring charts for South Africa in this year’s edition (Runs: 176, Avg: 44) heads into the final with back-to-back fifties in the last two games. She has been particularly impressive against the spinners (Avg: 45, SR: 121.6) and can take the attack to Ash Gardner and Georgia Wareham. South Africa will bank on Brits to provide another solid start.
- Megan Schutt is the joint second-highest wicket-taker in this year’s edition so far (9 wickets). The right-arm pacer has done fairly well in the three ICC Women’s T20 World Cup finals she has played in (Wkts: 6, Avg: 9.5, ER: 5.8). She will be key for Australia in nullifying the threat of Tazmin Brits at the start and Chloe Tryon in the later stage of the innings.
- Shabnim Ismail took a match-winning 3/27 in the semi-final against England. She has featured in all six of South Africa’s women’s T20Is versus Australia, taking nine wickets at an economy of just 6.3. Ismail will, undoubtedly, be the go-to bowler for the Proteas in the final and she could be crucial in tackling the in-form Alyssa Healy whom she has dismissed twice in 15 deliveries.
At T20 WC 2023 - South Africa's most runs
|T Brits (SA-W)||5||176||68||44.00||108.64||2||18||3|
|L Wolvaardt (SA-W)||5||169||66*||42.25||100.59||2||17||2|
|S Luus (SA-W)||4||73||28||24.33||101.38||0||5||1|
At T20 WC 2023 - Australia's most runs
|AJ Healy (AUS-W)||4||171||55||57.00||119.58||2||22||2|
|MM Lanning (AUS-W)||4||139||49*||69.50||115.83||0||15||2|
|BL Mooney (AUS-W)||5||132||56*||33.00||108.19||2||17||1|
South Africa's top wicket-takers
|A Khaka (SA-W)||4||7||4/29||11.42||5.33||12.8||1|
|M Kapp (SA-W)||5||7||2/13||14.85||5.72||15.5||0|
|S Ismail (SA-W)||5||6||3/27||17.16||5.72||18.0||0|
Australia's top wicket-takers
|A Gardner (AUS-W)||5||9||5/12||11.66||6.56||10.6||0||1|
|M Schutt (AUS-W)||5||9||4/24||12.44||6.22||12.0||1||0|
|D Brown (AUS-W)||5||6||2/18||13.33||4.70||17.0||0||0|
|G Wareham (AUS-W)||4||6||3/20||14.50||6.21||14.0||0||0|
- Shabnim Ismail (41) requires one more wicket to surpass Anya Shrubsole and become the leading wicket- taker in ICC Women’s T20 World Cups. Ellyse Perry (40) needs two wickets to achieve the same feat and Megan Schutt (39) needs three.
- Meg Lanning needs 18 runs to become the second player to reach 1000 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup runs. Alyssa Healy, on the other hand, is 77 runs away from achieving the same feat.
Stats courtesy: Sportradar / ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone as well as ESPNCricinfo Statsguru.