Batting first after winning the toss, South Africa Women posted an impressive 164/4 on the board. Laura Wolvaardt (53 off 44) and Tazmin Brits (68 off 55) struck fine half-centuries, featuring in an opening partnership of 96. While Wolvaardt hit five fours and a six, Brits struck six fours and two sixes.
Marizanne Kapp slammed an unbeaten 27 off 13 to give South Africa much-needed momentum at the death. For England, Sophie Ecclestone was again the standout bowler, claiming 3/22 in her four overs.
England Women got off to a terrific start in the chase as Danielle Wyatt (34) and Sophia Dunkley (28) added 53 for the first wicket in five overs.
Shabnim Ismail, however, dismissed Dunkley and Alice Capsey (0) in the same over, before Ayabonga Khaka ended Wyatt’s resistance. Nat Sciver-Brunt (40) and skipper Heather Knight (31) kept the fight alive for England. However, Khaka (4/29) claimed three wickets in one over, while Ismail ended with figures of 3/27 to derail England’s chase. Chasing 165, England finished on 158/8 as their T20 World Cup campaign ended in unexpected fashion.
Speaking after the win, South African captain Sune Luus said, “England played well it was a great match. I think we were out of it, in it again, out of it again and it just went in waves but I think we do have the best bowling attack in the world and I guess it was against the best batting attack against the world, I just don't know what to say.
“We kept saying to them (openers) to be brave and back themselves, they made us extremely proud and that gave us the platform for Marizanne and everyone coming in,” she added.
Describing Khaka as a phenomenal bowler, Luus continued, “One of the best in the world and I just think she just showed her class once again.”
Sharing her thoughts on the Proteas reaching their first World Cup final, Luus commented, “It's massive, every game we play we keep making history and keep inspiring the nation. I hope this is really a turning point for not just women's cricket in South Africa, but sport in general in South Africa, so I hope with one game to go we can keep doing that.”
The Australia-South Africa T20 World Cup final will be played in Cape Town on Sunday, February 26.
--By A Cricket Correspondent