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Knight poised for South Africa semi

Heather Knight is primed for the business end of an “exciting” Women’s World T20 in Bangladesh that has progressed to its knockout stages.

England Women tackle South Africa in their semi-final on Friday, with reigning champions Australia facing West Indies in the other last-four contest the day before.

It appeared that England would be facing Australia, who they lost to in the final two years ago, only for India to shock West Indies in the final group game, ensuring that Charlotte Edwards’ side topped Group B and would face Group A runners-up South Africa instead.

The preparation for the clash is well underway and Knight is looking forward to an intriguing contest.

She told ecb.co.uk: “No team is unbeaten in this tournament now (following West Indies’ defeat to India), which is quite interesting and quite exciting.

“The standard across the whole world has improved and you’ve seen that through a few upsets this tournament.

“We haven’t played South Africa in a while, they’re a really developing team. They have a few young faces, a few good spinners, so we’re set for a good challenge against them.

England Women responded from their opening defeat to West Indies, with three wins from three ensuring they topped Group B“We’re ready for the semi-final and we’ll have our plans. We’ve got a lot of footage of them so we’ll be ready on Friday.”

England suffered their one defeat in their opening game against West Indies, but have since recorded emphatic victories over Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka to ensure progression.

Knight believes England have grown into the competition well and the team are at the top of their game at the right time.

“It was a disappointing start against the West Indies but we’ve been on an upward curve since then,” she said.

“We’ve but in a few really good performances. The bowlers have been brilliant all tournament.

“Heading into the semis the confidence is high and we’re ready to put in a good, strong performance.”

Knight began the tournament batting down the order at number six but ended the group stage back at a more familiar three. The 23-year-old admitted that she prefers that position, but will be happy anywhere providing she is playing in a successful team.

She said: “I prefer opening and batting at the top of the order, the ball is new and you get the chance to make the biggest impact in the game. It’s where I’ve batted for the most of my career, and that’s where I’m most comfortable so to get moved back up the order is great but as long as I’m playing and making a contribution towards England wins I’m happy.

You can follow England Women’s progress in Dhaka on Friday with ecb.co.uk’s live blog, as well as via Twitter @ECB_cricket.

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