Women’s World Cup 2022: India aim for semi-final placement, face South Africa in must-win match


India meets South Africa in their final league match of the 2022 Women’s World Cup at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday, with a semi-final spot up for grabs. The girls of Mithali Raj still have their destiny in their own hands as a win over the Proteas women secures them a place in the last four.

India currently sit 5th with 6 points from as many games, one point less than West Indies who have already met their quota of 7 games. With New Zealand already out of contention for a place in the semi-finals, it’s a three-way battle between India, England and the West Indies.

England, who also have 6 points from as many games, meet Bangladesh in the first game on Sunday to keep their title defense alive.

If India lose to South Africa, their only hope of progressing to the semi-finals is if England, who have a better NRR (+0.778), also lose their last league game against Bangladesh and finish with a lower NRR.

India can progress even if the last league game is washed out by rain as a point is enough for them to overtake the West Indies.

India’s inconsistent hitting once again came to the fore in an otherwise 110-run win over Bangladesh and Skipper Raj would be keen to improve that aspect against a challenging South African bowling attack.

“Tomorrow is a crucial game and everyone knows that. They are all ready to give her 100 percent. important game.

“As a percussion team, we want good partnerships in tomorrow’s game. Bowling and fielding have gotten pretty good. We’ve improved as a team,” she added.

Captain Mithali Raj himself is struggling with the willow. She has four single digit results in the tournament. The 39-year-old veteran, who may be playing her last game for India if she doesn’t make the semis, would love to have a few runs under her belt and see her team make the cut.

Smriti Mandhana, with the exception of the hundred against the West Indies, also looked scratchy. Shafali had some much-needed runs against Bangladesh while Yastika Bhatia placed perfectly in 3rd place.

Vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been India’s most consistent racquet player, while all-rounders Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana have shown they can be counted on to hit fast runs in sequence.

The batsmen must fire as a group to defeat South Africa, who have lost just one match in the tournament.


The bowling department, which looked lackluster at times, put on a much improved show against Bangladesh. The move to bring in spinner Poonam Yadav in place of pacesetter Meghna Singh paid off for India.

It remains to be seen, however, whether India will stick to the two-pacer, three-spinner strategy at Hagley Oval, which has an even lane that requires bowlers to be disciplined with their line and length.

South Africa, on the other hand, has already qualified for the semi-finals. In the overall standings, they are second behind Australia.

However, batting remains a concern for the Proteas. Laura Wolvaardt is South Africa’s outstanding batter. Skipper Sune Luus has three half centuries, while Marizanne Kapp has played a few cameos.


India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wk ), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.

South Africa: Sune Luus (c), Chloe Tryon (vc), Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Laura Wolvaardt.

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