By Rob Barnett
Georgia Elwiss says “anything can happen” in England Women’s World Twenty20 semi-final with South Africa tomorrow, despite Charlotte Edwards' side having won all seven previous T20 internationals versus their opponents.
The Proteas have been the surprise package of the women’s tournament, pipping New Zealand to a place in the last four by beating the White Ferns in their last group game.
On the back of that shock victory, Elwiss is wary that South Africa can spring another surprise tomorrow in Dhaka.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, she said: “The semi-final of a world cup is the semi-final of a world cup and anything can happen.
“It’s a standalone game and the South Africans have put in some really good performances to reach the semi-final, so we can’t underestimate them.”
England have identified half a dozen South Africa players as particularly threatening. Among them are skipper Mignon du Preez, who hit a half-century in the victory over New Zealand on Monday, plus all-rounders Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk.
“There are five or six really key players for them,” Elwiss added.
“Their captain Mignon de Preez got fifty against the Kiwis the other night to see them home. She’s a good player, as is Kapp and Van Niekerk, so we can’t underestimate them.
“We’ve been training really hard and hopefully we’ll get the win on Friday.”
Elwiss believes England’s build-up to the semis will stand Edwards’ side in good stead.
“I think the way that we’ve trained while we’ve been over here and the preparation leading up to it has been the key,” she explained.
“Every single training session’s had game intensity, and that really helps when you’re going into nets and doing scenarios and you’re under that game pressure.
“It really gets us used to being out in the middle and tries to replicate the situation as much as possible.”
Three consecutive wins - against India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - have left England in high spirits.
Elwiss played in all three, having missed the defeat to West Indies who today lost the first semi to Australia.
“It was tough to get through the group stages,” she admitted.
“We had some really good teams in our group, but we’ve made it through to the semi-final and we’re really pumped and excited for South Africa.”
You can follow England Women’s progress in Dhaka tomorrow with ecb.co.uk’s live blog, as well as via Twitter @ECB_cricket.