Women's T20 World Cup: Sydney weather threatens washout as Australia faces South Africa

In case the match is washed out, South Africa women would go through to the final having topped Group B, while Australia women finished second in Group A.

Persistent rain forced the SCG pitch to be under covers on match-eve.   -  Getty Images

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 semifinals.

A shock loss to India in its tournament opener means Australia finished second in Group A, so would be knocked out by Group B winner South Africa if its clash at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) isn't completed.

Cricket Australia (CA) had spoken with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the possibility of moving the matches to a reserve day, but had been told it was not possible under tournament rules, chief Kevin Roberts said.

“It's not part of the playing conditions and we respect that,” Roberts told Melbourne's SEN radio on Wednesday.

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Stormy weather is forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology throughout Thursday at the SCG, with the chance of rain in the evening when Australia is scheduled to take on the Proteas ranging from 50% to 70%.

The loss of the four-time champion and host would be a major blow to hopes that Sunday's final will attract a crowd in excess of 90,000 at the MCG.

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 is 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.”

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