BETH LANGSTON has hailed England’s ability to keep their World Cup dream alive following a disastrous start to the competition, which saw them lose their opening three games.

Northern Diamonds trio Katherine Brunt, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill are part of the England side to have qualified for the semi-finals, where the defending champions will play South Africa in Christchurch tomorrow (2am UK).

“They’ve done brilliantly to come back after the start they had,” said Yorkshire fast bowler Langston.

“They had some tough opposition first up, but the way they’ve played when every game has effectively been a knockout game should leave them in a really good place.

“Tournaments like this are about peaking at the right time.

“You don’t want to be playing your best cricket at the start and then fizzle out towards the end. And they are peaking now.”

Should England reverse an early tournament defeat to South Africa, they will play the winners of the other semi-final between Australia, the white hot favourites, and the West Indies.

It would be quite the story if, after a winter of coming out on the wrong side against the Aussies in the Ashes and at the start of this World Cup, England were able to reverse the trend at just the right time.

In many ways, it would be typical of the weird and wonderful nature of sport, if England were to triumph on the back of five winter defeats to Australia.

Langston was in Australia for the Ashes as part of the shadowing England 'A' squad.

“The games against Australia have been close,” she said.

“It’s not like they’ve been thrashed by them. They just need to have a good day at the office and Australia a bad one if they get that chance. Fingers crossed!”

Talk of peaking at the right time brings us back to Diamonds’ matters.

They are in the latter stages of their pre-season preparations for the start of the 2022 regional campaign on May 14.

And part of that involved a squad bonding day last week when they took on a walk up Whernside, one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

“We’ve done a few different things to shake it up in training,” said Langston. “We’ve also been doing a lot of yoga and boxing.

“Everyone enjoyed it (Whernside) and completed it.

“The winter has gone really well, but we’re all just looking forward to getting stuck into the season now.”

The Northern Diamonds season starts with a trio of Charlotte Edwards (T20) Cup games between May 14 and May 21.