South Africa Women have sealed the semi-finals showdown and have locked their place for the Sunday Finale against the dominating Australia.
Having won the toss, South Africa decided to bat first against England in the second semifinal match on Friday. The Proteas Women played with a much improved performance against England after only winning three games out of the previous 23 T20I matches against them (1 no result), with the host nation England entering the semi-final with two victories out of its last four T20 World Cup games.
After holding South Africa to 164/4, England was coasting when the final three overs of their innings changed the course of the match. At the end of the 16th over, England had scored 131 runs, and even though South Africa claimed the important wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt in the 17th, England appeared to be able to continue scoring at the same rate.
Ayabonga Khaka, taking three wickets, bowled what might be remembered as the game-changing over of the tournament. The victory was then secured by Shabnim Ismail’s dismissal of England captain Heather Knight in the final over.
Earlier, South Africa’s powerplay inning got off to a slow start, but the openers picked up the pace and put up a strong defence. Ending with a half-century, Laura Wolvaardt’s opening partnership with Tazmin Brits produced 96 runs. After Brits’ second consecutive half-century, who had previously failed to reach 140 in this tournament, South Africa took control and appeared poised to reach 170.
Following a stunning 19th over from Sophie Ecclestone in which she claimed two wickets, South Africa reached 164/4 after the 20th over went for 18. For the first time ever, South Africa has advanced to the T20 World Cup final, where they will take on the formidable Australia on Sunday.
The winners South Africa will now face Australia, the five-time champions, in the championship game on Sunday.