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South Africa captain Sune Luus says her side are using the pain of the past as fuel for their semi-final clash with England.
The Proteas lost at this stage of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 and are looking to make it third time lucky in semi-finals, having also fallen short of the tournament showpiece in 2014.
After losses to Sri Lanka and Australia in the group phase, the hosts were faced with the prospect of an early tournament exit.
But convincing wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh secured a spot in the last four and Luus is now eager for her side to take the next step.
“It’s always a great honour to be in a semi-final and it took a lot of hard work to get here, so I’m really proud of the girls,” said Luus.
“We are searching for that perfect game where all three aspects of the game click, so that’s something we are focused on.
“It is going to be a big occasion. But I think we’ve been on the wrong side of it too many times to know exactly what it feels like.
“We don’t want to be there again so there is enough motivation for us to just go out and enjoy the game.
“We’re just going to try and play our best cricket and try and enjoy the moment as well.”
Luus’ side will have home advantage when they step out at Newlands, with a sell-out crowd anticipated.
The South Africa skipper hopes her side can feed off that atmosphere as they bid to become just the third host nation to lift the trophy.
“It’s a home semi-final, and it’s the first time [in a semi-final] the crowd is going to be for us and not against us,” she said.
“We’re very much excited for tomorrow and can’t wait to take the field.
“The crowds have been pushing us to keep going and keep enjoying it. That’s been the best part of it all, seeing all the people in the crowd, it’s been very cool.”
Reflecting on the win over Bangladesh which saw South Africa earn their semi-final spot, Luus was especially pleased to see Laura Wolvaardt striking with confidence.
The opener responded to a testing few weeks by scoring an unbeaten 66 in South Africa’s 10-wicket victory and Luus hopes she can take that momentum into the knockout stages.
“That performance was crucial for her just to remind her that she still can play cricket,” said Luus.
“I think she’s been contemplating her whole career over the last couple of weeks.
“She’s a very key batter for us at the top of the order. It was really important for her confidence and she’ll be feeling much better now ahead of the England game.”