Photo Credit: ICC
The semi-final line-up of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 is complete after a heart-thumping group stage came to an end.
Australia, South Africa, England and the West Indies were the sides to advance to the final four as India and New Zealand were pipped to progression by just a solitary point.
Here, we shine a light on how each of the four teams navigated their way to the knockout stages ahead of the first semi-final between Australia and West Indies getting underway on Wednesday.
Meg Lanning’s Australia look the unequivocal team to beat after enjoying a searing unbeaten campaign.
Lanning’s star-studded outfit racked up an imperious seven wins from seven as they successfully booked their place in the semi-finals with two games to spare.
And there have been no shortage of stand-out performances along the way, with Lanning’s brilliant 135 not out against South Africa, Rachael Haynes’ century against England and Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen and Alana King’s haul of 24 wickets between them helping fire the six-time champions into the semi-finals.
A nerve-jangling 12-run win over England, a dominant 141-run triumph over New Zealand and confident chases against India and West Indies helped cap a dominant campaign as Australia bid to emulate those performance levels heading into yet another ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final.
South Africa successfully secured a spot in their third ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final after a rain-affected affair against West Indies in Wellington.
Sune Luus’ team rounded off the group stage with a record of five wins from seven as defeats against Australia, coupled with that abandoned clash against the Maroon Warriors, safely secured their spot in the final four.
A thrilling six-run win over Pakistan marked one of their pivotal triumphs as runs from Laura Wolvaardt and skipper Luus, bolstered by wickets from Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka helped them edge past Bismah Maroof’s side.
And a similarly pulsating three-wicket win over Heather Knight’s England also outlined their threat at the competition, chasing down a target of 236 after a crucial contribution from opener Wolvaardt.
England’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 campaign has quite literally been a tale of two halves.
After losing their first three matches against Australia, West Indies and South Africa to leave their hopes of progression on the brink, the defending champions finally hit their straps against India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh to salvage their hopes of a second consecutive crown.
A nail-biting one-wicket win over New Zealand – after Nat Sciver’s 61 – and a four-wicket triumph over India kept their campaign alive before a fluent victory over Pakistan – Danni Wyatt and Sophie Ecclestone starring with bat and ball – teed up a crucial clash against Bangladesh.
And Knight’s team held their nerve when it mattered as Sophia Dunkley’s 67, followed by three wickets apiece for spin twins Ecclestone and Charlie Dean, helped sink the Tigresses by 100 runs and secure third spot, meaning they will play South Africa in Christchurch on Thursday.
The West Indies have endured a similarly turbulent campaign as three wins, three losses and that washed-out clash against South Africa hauled them into their second ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-final.
And those three victories were all secured in breath-taking fashion, battling past New Zealand, England and Bangladesh by the barest of margins to keep Stafanie Taylor’s side in contention.
Defeats against Australia, Pakistan and India slightly derailed their progress, but the Maroon Warriors are clearly made of stern stuff after that hat-trick of thrilling victories.
They beat New Zealand by three runs – in the first game of the tournament – England by seven and Bangladesh by four as they boldly defended their totals to help edge into the semi-finals.