On the back of a magnificent 129 from opener Danni Wyatt and a career-best 6/36 by left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, defending champions England on Thursday reached the final of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup with a superb 137-win over South Africa at Hagley Oval.
It continues the remarkable upward swing of England, who began their title defence with three losses but fought back to win next five matches in a row, including Thursday’s semi-final, to storm into their second straight World Cup final. They will now meet Australia in the final at the venue of their semifinal win on Sunday.
Chasing a mammoth 294 in a high-pressure knockout match, South Africa were never in the chase from the word go. Pacer Anya Shrubsole removed both openers, Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee, cheaply in her first two overs.
Wolvaardt, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, departed without troubling the scorers, chipping a Shrubsole inswinger straight back to her. Lee, in a lean run throughout the tournament, chipped another inswinger from Shrubsole straight to mid-wicket.
Lara Goodall and captain Sune Luus tried to resurrect the South Africa innings. But England struck back as Kate Cross cleaned up Luus while Goodall tried to scoop against Charlie Dean, but the ball shattered her stumps. From 67 for 4, Ecclestone ran through the rest of the batting line-up with all six wickets as South Africa crumbled to 156 all out in 38 overs.
Earlier, England posted an imposing 293/8, thanks to Wyatt’s knock laced with 12 boundaries. She had plenty of luck on her side as she was dropped five times in the innings (22, 36, 77, 116 and 117), including twice in an Ayabonga Khaka over.
The reprieves meant Wyatt took the attack to South Africa’s bowlers and put their usually tight fielders under pressure in a rematch of a thrilling 2017 World Cup semi-final.
Wyatt also stitched handy partnerships with Sophia Dunkley (60) and Amy Jones (28) during the middle overs as England gained the upper hand in a match which will decide who will meet Australia in the final on Sunday.
For South Africa, their experienced pacers Shabnim Ismail (3/46) and Marizanne Kapp (2/52) did well. But England and Wyatt in particular scored big against South Africa’s other bowling options.
Kapp provided South Africa the best start when she dismissed opener Tammy Beaumont (7) with the score on 10, before skipper Heather Knight joined Wyatt and the duo set about resurrecting England’s innings.
While Knight was overly cautious at the crease, Wyatt attempted to attack and Kapp provided her with a lifeline when she dropped an easy chance in the field. Khaka (1/66) trapped Knight lbw for one after taking a late review to add to England’s woes and it was 77/3 shortly after when Nat Sciver fell to Ismail for just 15.
Wyatt and Jones then put on 49 for the fourth wicket, until Kapp was introduced back into the attack and picked up her second when Chloe Tryon hung on to send Jones back to the pavilion.
Dunkley, with her second successive fifty in as many matches in the World Cup, proved to be the perfect partner for Wyatt as the duo combined for a 116-run stand that set England on course for a big score to set up a stiff chase for South Africa, which eventually was enough in the end to reach their sixth Women’s Cricket World Cup final.
Brief Scores: England 293/8 in 50 overs (Danni Wyatt 129, Sophia Dunkley 60; Shabnim Ismail 3/46, Marizanne Kapp 2/52) beat South Africa 156 all out in 38 overs (Mignon du Preez 30, Lara Goodall 28; Sophie Ecclestone 6/36, Anya Shrubsole 2/27) by 137 runs
Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.
With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.
PAK vs ENG, CWC 2023: ‘Broke 25 Crore People’s Hopes In 5 Seconds’, Netizens Troll Pakistan As England Almost Kill The Game At Toss
Pakistan cricket fans were left ruing their luck at the toss as it fell in England’s favour at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. With Jos Buttler winning the toss marking the end of Pakistan’s campaign at the showpiece event, netizens have relentlessly trolled Babar Azam and his men for losing the contest at the toss.
Coming into the game, Pakistan were facing a near impossible equation as winning the toss was the first priority. After winning the toss, Pakistan had to beat them by a massive 287-run margin. As things stand currently, Babar Azam and co. must do the unthinkable, bowling out for a mere 20 runs and getting those in only 1.3 overs, which would be their best-case scenario.
As things stand, the target for Pakistan will get bigger and the overs will keep diminishing. Pakistan fans were already irked as Babar was excluded among the list of captains during the light show at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday. It’s worth noting that Pakistan haven’t qualified for the 50-over World Cup semi-finals since the 2011 edition.
Pakistan have also made one change from their last match, benching Hassan Ali for an extra spinner in Shadab Khan. England have gone ahead with an unchanged line-up.
CWC 2023: South Africa vs Australia Semi-Final To Be Shifted To Mumbai If Pakistan Reach Knockouts, Confirm ICC Sources
The ODI World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia will be shifted to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if Pakistan qualify for the knockouts, sources in the International Cricket Council confirmed to the Free Press Journal on Thursday.
If Pakistan manage to reach the semis then they will face arch-rivals India once again in this tournament. In that case, the semi-final will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 15.
But if Pakistan don’t reach the semis then India will face either New Zealand or Afghanistan in Mumbai and South Africa will take on Australia in Kolkata as per the original schedule.India are scheduled to play their semifinal match in Mumbai only if they don’t face Pakistan. The Men in Green have refused to play in Mumbai due to security reasons.
Pakistan qualification scenario explained
But Pakistan’s qualification depends on the result of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka which is being played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
If New Zealand manage to beat Sri Lanka by a comfortable margin then Pakistan’s qualification will take a hit even if they defeat England in their last league game. A loss against the defending champions in Kolkata on November 11 will automatically knockout Pakistan from the race for the semis.
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