Tazmin Brits’ knock of 68 runs followed by Shabnim Ismail’s three and Ayabonga Khaka’s four-wicket haul helped South Africa defeat England by six runs in a dramatic final over in the semi-final match to set up a summit clash with Australia in the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
South Africa are through to their first-ever World Cup final in any format.
The thrilling match at Newlands on Friday saw South Africa post a very competitive 164/4 thanks to half-centuries from openers Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt.
Chasing a target of 165, England got off to a flying start as their openers slammed South Africa bowlers all around the ground. Danielle Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley put together a 53-run partnership inside the Powerplay to bring down the required scoring rate.
The explosive Sophia Dunkley fell at the start of the sixth over, mistiming a big shot off Shabnim Ismail into the hands of Tazmin Brits to depart for 28 from 16. And Brits pulled off a sensational catch two balls later to remove Alice Capsey without scoring.
England dug in as the pressure began to build, with key batter Nat Sciver-Brunt holding the key. There was another twist when Brits produced her third catch of the innings to remove Danni Wyatt for 34.
And just when it looked like Nat Sciver-Brunt was steering England to a winning position, Brits popped up in the deep to remove the tournament’s top-scorer for a 34-ball 40.
England needed a huge finish, but Ayabonga Khaka had other plans. She bowled a fantastic 18th over, grabbing three wickets to remove Amy Jones (2), Sophie Ecclestone (1), and Katherine Sciver-Brunt (0), leaving 25 needed from the final two overs.
And that triple-strike left England short of firepower as they were unable to chase down 13 in Ismail’s final over to bow out of the tournament.
Earlier, it was Proteas captain Sune Luus who won the toss and opted to bat first, and her openers got off to a steady start in the Powerplay.
The scoring rate wasn’t particularly fast, but South Africa kept wickets and created a foundation as Wolvaardt and the Brits reached 37/0 after six overs.
As the openers continued to lay the groundwork, the scoring picked up with Wolvaardt being the more fluent of the two. With England having just set a new record at this venue, although against a weaker bowling attack, the onus was on South Africa to attack in the second part of their innings.
Wolvaardt hit her second half-century in as many outings with a gliding boundary. Then she was caught by Charlie Dean off Sophie Ecclestone for 53 from 44 balls just three balls later.
Fellow opener Brits started slowly but quickly accelerated in the second part of her innings, racing to 68 off 55 when she was caught by Lauren Bell in the 18th over, halting the Proteas’ progress.
South Africa’s power hitters had two overs remaining to add gloss to a decent score.
Ecclestone came back well in her final over to remove Chloe Tryon and Nadine de Klerk, finishing with standout figures of 3/22 from her four overs.
But Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s final over went for 18 runs as Marizanne Kapp unleashed shot after shot, finishing unbeaten on 27* from 13 balls.
A total of 164/4 was always going to test England, and so it proved, as a vocal home crowd celebrated South Africa’s historic win.
Brief score: South Africa 164/4 (Tazmin Brits 68, Laura Wolvaardt 53; Sophie Ecclestone 3-22) vs England 158/8 (Nat Sciver-Brunt 40, Danielle Wyatt 34; Ayabonga Khaka 4-29). (ANI)