Women’s world cup: South Africa defeated an in-form England team in a dramatic game to advance to the Women’s World Cup final against Australia at home on Sunday.
With to half-centuries from the Proteas’ opening pair of Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt, the team scored 164/4 in the first innings, which was a very close game.
Then during England’s chase, the momentum swung back and forth as the openers made a quick start, the Brits held on to four catches to remove each of England’s top four, and Ayabonga Khaka took three wickets in a match-changing over. It all came down to England needing 13 runs to win and falling six runs short in Shabnim Ismail’s final over.
When the pressure started to mount, England dug in, with Nat Sciver-Brunt as their crucial batter.
Brits’ third catch of the inning, which removed Danni Wyatt for 34, added another additional surprise. And just as Nat Sciver-Brunt appeared to be leading England to victory, the British team emerged from the depths to dismiss the competition’s leading scorer for a 34-ball 40.
Khaka bowled a fantastic 18th over, picking up three wickets to dismiss Amy Jones (2), Sophie Ecclestone (1), and Katherine Sciver-Brunt (0), leaving 25 needed from the final two overs. England needed a huge finish, but Khaka had other plans.
Sune Luus, the Proteas captain, won the toss and chose to bat first earlier. Her openers made a steady start in the Powerplay. Although the scoring rate wasn’t exceptionally fast, South Africa managed to hold onto wickets and set the stage as Wolvaardt and Brits reached 37/0 after six overs.
As the openers continued to establish a foundation, the rate of scoring increased, with Wolvaardt being the more fluid of the two.
Yet since England had just set a record at the same location, albeit against an inferior bowling attack, South Africa had to come out swinging in the second half of their innings.