Sydney rain threatens Australia’s T20 Women’s World Cup defence [DailyTimes] 05 Mar, 2020

SYDNEY: Australia’s hopes of retaining the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in a blockbuster final on Sunday could fall foul of the Sydney weather, with heavy rain threatening to wash out Thursday’s semi-finals. A shock loss to India in their tournament opener means Australia finished second in Group A, so would be knocked out by Group B winners South Africa if their semi-final clash at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was not completed. Unbeaten India take on England in the first of Thursday’s semi-finals at the SCG and would progress to Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) if a minimum of 10 overs a side were not possible because of the weather.The host’s immediate priority is to fill the void created by all-rounder Ellyse Perry’s exit from the tournament with a hamstring injury. “We’ve got a few options that we’re looking at to replace Ellysse,” Australia captain Meg Lanning told reporters. “Obviously we can’t truly replace her, but we’ve got a number of different options to go with depending on the conditions.” South Africa are also fretting on the availability of all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, who suffered heart palpitation in Sunday’s match against Pakistan and skipped training. “A player’s health is more important than a game,” South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk said.“Whatever decision is made I am confident other players would step up and make sure she is not missed to much.” India will be hoping to improve their dismal 0-5 tournament record against England in a rematch of the 2018 semi-final in Antigua. “After losing the last semi-final, as a team we realised that we have to work as a unit,” India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said. “We just need to keep doing the right things and just focus on the right things instead of worrying about the past.”

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