Hosts South Africa held their nerves on Friday to upset ‘favourites’ England by 6 runs in their semi-final match in Cape Town. They set up a mouth-watering summit clash against five-time champions Australia.
As it happened: England vs South Africa
On paper, it will be a contrasting final on Sunday, with South Africa playing their first ever final against a team, who are playing their seventh straight title clash.
Opting to bat first, South Africa posted a challenging 164 for 4, riding on magnificent fifties from their openers Tazmin Brits (68) and Laura Wolvaardt (53), who put on 96 runs to set the platform.
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England too had a flying start, with openers Danielle Wyatt (34) and Sophia Dunkley (28) adding a quick fifty-run stand in the first five overs. But Pacer Shabnim Ismail (3 for 27) then put South Africa back in the contest with a two-wicket over in the sixth, removing Dunkley and Alice Capsey.
Nat Sciver-Brunt (40) and skipper Heather Knight (31) kept England in the hunt with a valuable 47-run stand for the fourth wicket, before Ayabonga Khaka (4 for 29) turned the game upside down with a triple strikes in the 18th over, sending back Amy Jones, Sophie Ecclestone and Katherine Sciver-Brunt.
Khaka reduced England to 140/7 in 18 overs from 132/3 in 16.1 overs. In the end, England fell short and could only manage to score 158 for 8 in their 20 overs.
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With 13 needed off the last over and England still had hope with skipper Knight in the middle. Ismail got rid of her to seal a special result for South Africa.
Earlier, the hosts’ star batter Wolvaardt and Britz shared a 96-run stand to lay the groundwork for a competitive total.
England’s lead spinner Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets for 22 runs in four overs.
It was a second successive fifty from the 23-year-old Wolvaardt whose innings comprised five fours and a glorious off-drive that went all the way for a six.
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Ecclestone was the one to provide the breakthrough for England as Wolvaardt, trying to play on the on side, got a leading edge and was caught by Charlotte Dean.
Britz changed gears following her opening partner’s dismissal. Her back to straight sixes off leggie Sarah Glenn was the highlight of her innings.
Ecclestone pulled things back in the death overs with wickets of Chloe Tyron and Nadine de Klerk in a three run over before Marizanne Kapp got a much needed 23 not out off 13 balls to take the total beyond 160.
Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s last over went for 18 runs and included a boundary off a waist high full toss.
Kapp ended the innings on a high with back to back fours.
South Africa were able to collect 66 runs off the last six overs.
(With inputs from PTI)