South Africa women stun England to set up Australia cricket World Cup final

It was always going to be. But for the first time, the tears of despair were in the opposition ranks. South Africa’s were tears of joy, as they bounced around Shabnim Ismail at the Wynberg side of the ground, and soaked up the monumental and historic achievement.

ICC Women's Cricket World Cup: South Africa Women vs England Women Live Cricket Score, Updates | Cricket News

Not many were seated for the final three overs.

But that is when this potent Proteas side attacked, the team’s core strength delivered in quite stunning fashion.

With 28 needed off 18 balls and England with six wickets in hand, Ayabonga Khaka delivered the most stunning over.

First she had Amy Jones caught in the covers, four balls later it was Sophie Eccelstone who skied a length ball to Anneke Bosch and then she trapped Katherine Sciver-Brunt lbw with her final ball.

Three runs conceded, three wickets taken.

With 25 to defend in the last two overs, there is no better combination in world cricket that you’d want to toss the ball to than Marizanne Kapp and Ismail.

Though England captain Heather Knight blasted a stunning six over long on in that penultimate over, Kapp, who’d needed time off before the tournament after the disappointment of wife Dane van Niekerk’s omission from the squad, maintained her composure, leaving Ismail with 12 runs.

She was never going to concede that many. Bowling foul and straight, she had Sarah Glenn hitting to mid-on and mid-off and importantly didn’t give up a boundary.

Cue the tears, from everyone.

It was Ismail, with a lot of help from the previously unheralded Tazmin Brits, who turned the innings back South Africa’s way with one of the great overs in a World Cup.

England had punished the Proteas early, taking advantage of lax fielding, to smash 53 runs in the first five overs.

Then Ismail delivered an over at speeds clocked between 119 and 128km/h taking two wickets, both catches to Brits at midwicket, the first conventional, the second anything but — a diving one-handed effort that saw the departure of Alice Capsey.

England stayed true to their attacking ethos and while the Proteas still made dreadful fielding errors, they also kept taking wickets.

Nadine de Klerk was amazing. She barely made an error in four overs conceding just 17 runs and claiming the vital wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt, with a craftily delivered slower ball which gave Brits her fourth catch on the long on boundary

Laura Wolvaardt and Brits built steadily in their opening stand of 96, giving themselves a platform as they did against Bangladesh in the final group game.

That momentum, Luus had hoped would be carried over into the semi and that was the case.

Wolvaardt drew a standing ovation out of Siya Kolisi after launching Charlie Dean over long off for six in the fifth over.

The pair had shared a hug, when the Springbok rugby captain was invited into the team’s dugout before play started.

Wolvaardt, who before that Bangladesh match had looked like she was suffocating under the pressure of a home World Cup, played in that relaxed elegant manner of hers.

Like in the last World Cup where she played the role of finisher, Wolvaardt mixed style with power, and while the cover drives were in evidence, perhaps more impressively so was her shotmaking through the leg-side, an area she often fails to access.

Brits again looked ragged, losing her shape as she sought to hit the ball too hard. As well as she played on Friday, hitting some spectacular shots, the feeling persists that she leaves up to  20 runs on the table.

Still she’s South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the tournament, backing up the half-century against Bangladesh with 68 off 55 balls in the semifinal that included six fours and two sixes — those latter blows coming in the 15th over off leg-spinner Sarah Glenn in which Brits scored 18 runs.

That shifted the momentum for the Proteas and while Sophie Eccelstone bowled a magnificent 19th over conceding just three runs and picking up two wickets, including the powerful Tryon.

Kapp however gave the Proteas innings a late charge taking 18 runs off a ragged final over by Katherine Sciver-Brunt, including hitting the last two balls for fours.

How crucial those runs would prove.

How magical this afternoon was.

South Africa is in a Cricket World Cup final you know.

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