England’s World Cup Twenty20 hopes big blow in defeat of South Africa in tournament-opener
- England lost to South Africa on the opening day of the T20 World Cup
- England struck first and showed determination to post a sub-par total of 124
- Mignon du Preez hit consecutive borders when South Africa won with six wickets
The hope of England to become world champion double ladies, received a heavy blow on Sunday when she first lost a Twenty20 World Cup game to South Africa.
The opening game of a tournament in England began when second favorites turned into a defeat when veteran Katherine Brunt was unable to defend the nine runs that South Africa needed in the final at the WACA in Perth.
England was scaled back after placing a sub-par target of 124. But after Brunt had allowed only two runs from the first two balls of the last, Mignon du Preez hit a six and then a four for a win with six wins.
Sophie Ecclestone looks despondent when England suffers the defeat of Twenty20 in South Africa
“We didn’t get enough runs and it would always be difficult on that field,” said English captain Heather Knight.
“But we fought a lot and our bowlers made it difficult for South Africa. They are not panic stations. Far from. It could easily have gone the other way and we know that we have much more to offer. “
That may be so, but Knight and new coach Lisa Keightley now have to think a lot if England has to avoid an embarrassing early exit from a World Cup, where they had hoped to go all the way.
England’s batting was listless and they only reached a modest 123 for eight thanks to 50 from Nat Sciver, with Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield – the openers of their 50-over World Cup 2017 triumph – puzzlingly relegated to No. 7 and No. 8.
Then England was vulnerable in the field when the pressure was on after Dane van Nierkerk and Marizanne Kapp had set up 84 in a stand that had brought South Africa on the verge of just their third win against England in a Twenty20 international.
England is in any case by far the weaker of the two groups and can get their campaign back on track when they meet qualifying matches on Wednesday in Thailand.
England captain Heather Knight praised her bowlers who “made it difficult for South Africa”