Heartache for England as they lose the thrilling T20 World Cup semi-final to South Africa by just SIX runs as Heather Knight’s side fall short of the 165 target, with hosts now facing Australia in the showpiece of Sunday
- England fell behind in the final of the T20 World Cup, losing to South Africa by six points
- Heather Knight’s side collapsed midway through their 165 chase in Cape Town
- As a result, South Africa made their first ever final in men’s and women’s cricket
England’s hopes of reaching the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup were dashed by a narrow six-run defeat to South Africa in Cape Town on Friday.
Heather Knight’s side lost a flurry of late wickets in their chase of 165 to win, collapsing from 131 for three to 140 for seven.
England were left to lament missed opportunities, having started their pursuit in a dominant fashion. Opening pair Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley launched the chase in typically explosive fashion, with 50 quick runs at the start of the innings to set them in good stead.
However, unlike South Africa, who lost their first wicket in the 14th over and just four in total, England’s wickets tumbled towards the end, shifting momentum firmly in the hosts’ favour.
Amy Jones, Sophie Ecclestone and Katherine Sciver-Brunt quickly collapsed in a match substitution of Ayabonga Khaka, leaving captain Knight the difficult task of completing the remaining runs with England’s lower order.
South Africa reached the T20 World Cup final on Sunday with a thrilling victory over England on Friday
South Africa celebrate Shabnim Ismail’s vital wicket from captain Heather Knight in the final
Sophia Dunkley got the chase started fast, but England fell over later in the innings
England needed 13 to go into the final, but South Africa’s victory was all but confirmed when Knight was bowled with three balls to spare, for 31 off 25 balls.
Shabnim Ismail bowled the final six of the match to finish three for 27 as South Africa made history by reaching their first World Cup final in both men’s and women’s cricket.
As South Africa took the game to England early, Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits engaged in a fantastic 96-point opening partnership to kickstart the dramatic affair.
Ecclestone took three of England’s four wickets to limit South Africa’s total, which was their highest tally in the World Cup to date.
England were in dominant form ahead of the semi-final and were favorites to advance, having passed Pakistan, India, Ireland and the West Indies with relative ease.
All-rounder Sophie Ecclestone cuts a dejected figure as England crash out of the competition
Tazmin Brits, who hit 68 runs and made four impressive catches, was named player of the game
Charlie Dean and Sarah Glenn comfort each other after England’s devastating World Cup exit
They were 53-0 in the power play, having hit 131 runs for three wickets after just 16 overs, before the devastating collapse.
Claiming player of the match after impressively hitting 68 runs off 55 balls, the British made a huge contribution for South Africa in the field with a whopping four catches.
Australia secured a place in the final after narrowly beating India by five runs on Thursday.
The Proteas are now bidding to deny the reigning champions their third consecutive title, which would be their sixth overall, in Sunday’s final at Newlands.