Less than a week on from the Lionesses EURO 2022 triumph, another England team are challenging for international tournament success this weekend.
Despite losing captain Heather Knight to injury, England have reached finals weekend of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games T20 tournament at a canter – with three wins in three helping us to win Group B and qualify for the semi-finals in style.
Led by Nat Sciver, England are now just two wins away from getting their hands on the gold medals. Tomorrow, they’ll play India for a place in Sunday’s final – with Australia and New Zealand battling it out for the other spot.
It promises to be a fantastic weekend of cricket at Edgbaston, here’s everything you need to know…
The standout performers
17-year-old Alice Capsey is having quite the games so far. The teenager is the tournament’s second-highest run scorer with 117 from three innings @ an average of 39.00 – including a half-century against South Africa.
Amy Jones has been another eye-catching performer. The wicketkeeper-batter has come in to help finish innings off to great effect – making 18* against New Zealand and 36* against South Africa – while her glovework has been excellent.
All of England’s bowlers have impressed but an opening duo that combines youth and experience has helped them set the tone.
Legendary seamer Katherine Brunt took a wicket with our first ball of the games and now has figures of 4 wickets for 28 runs @ an average of 7.00. Her new partner in crime, 20-year-old Issy Wong, has four wickets as well – with hers coming for 40 runs @ 10.00.
Then there is the world’s best player, Sophie Ecclestone, who has continued to bamboozle opposition batters. The left-arm spinner is surely the most feared bowler on the globe and has 5 wickets for 57 @ 11.40.
Who stands in our way?
First up will be India, who finished second in Group A. They’ve never won an international tournament but find themselves in another semi-final after losing to Australia before beating both Barbados and Pakistan in the group stages.
Most of their batters have made key contributions on their route to finals weekend but Shafali Verma (107 runs @ 35.66) and Smriti Mandhana (92 @ 46.00) lead the way. With the ball, it has been all about seamer Renuka Singh, who has 9 wickets after 4-wicket hauls against both Australia and Barbados.
The other semi-final sees Australia take on New Zealand. The Aussies are doing what they so often do at big tournaments and will be the favourites to make the final from the Saturday evening match.
All-rounder Tahlia McGrath has been vital to their success, taking 6 wickets @ 7.16 and making 92 runs @ 92.00, while Beth Mooney looks to have found form with the bat at the perfect time, making 70* against Pakistan on Tuesday.
Leg-spinner Alana King (5 wickets @ 10.80) and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen (5 @ 11.00) are two of their other bowling threats.
England know all about New Zealand having dispatched them in style on Tuesday but we know better than to write them off.
If they’re going to upset the odds, they will need tournament top scorer Suzie Bates to go big once again. She’s got 131 runs @ 65.50 so far.
21-year-old all-rounder Amelia Kerr has yet to really fire with the bat but she has 4 wickets @ 18.25 with her leg-spin while seamer Hayley Jensen has 4 @ 9.50 as well.
Saturday 6th August
1st semi-final: England v India, 11am
2nd semi-final: Australia v New Zealand, 6pm
Sunday 7th August
Bronze medal match, 10am
Gold medal match, 5pm
How to watch
As with the whole of the games, all four matches will be available live and free via BBC Sport. The best way to do that is through the BBC Sport Live Guide.
If you fancy getting down there, tickets may still be available for Saturday and Sunday fixtures at Edgbaston. Head to https://tickets.birmingham2022.com/ for more info and to purchase them.