The first Semi Final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 was played between hosts England and South Africa at County Ground, Bristol on Tuesday. England won in the last over by two wickets and two balls to spare. The target of 219 was supposed to be a walk in the park for England but it ended up being a low scoring thriller and a match worthy of being called a semi-final.
Anya Shrubsole hit the winning four on the first ball she faced in the last over to leave the South African players and fans heartbroken; a shot that brought tears of joy for one team while shattered a dream for the other, a dream which had almost crossed the finish line. South Africa and England played their group match on the same ground, and it was a run-fest. Today’s match turned out to be a low scoring thriller: South Africa posted 216 for 6 after winning the toss and opting to bat first. South Africa lost their dominant opener Lizelle Lee for 7 in the sixth over and Chetty couldn’t trouble the scorers much either as she fell in the twelfth over for 15. Wolvaardt (fourth half century of the World Cup) and du Preez scored half centuries as they constructed a third wicket partnership of 77 runs which could’ve proved to be a match winning one. Captain Knight’s first over produced to moments of brilliance, she clean bowled Wolvaardt and Kapp got run-out in the span of three balls. Du Preez, the top scorer with 76* and Sune Luus 21* kept South Africa in the hunt as they managed to take the score to a respectable 218. Ayanonga Khaka the pick of the South African bowlers got rid of both the openers within thirteen overs. Then came the crucial partnership of 76 runs between Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight which steadied the ship for England. She got run-out at the start of the thirty-third over, this dismissal lead to a mini collapse, England lost three wickets in 12 deliveries and South Africa were back in the match. South African bowlers bowled to a tight line and length and kept the English team on the edge of their seats till the last over. Jenny Gunn and Fran Wilson’s sixth wicket partnership of 40 off 34 balls took the match away from South Africa.
This will be England’s fifth ODI World Cup final. They will be looking to win a final for the first time in eight years. They’ve won both World Cups they’ve previously hosted. England will face either Australia or India at Lord’s on Sunday.
England v South Africa ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
The dynamic wicketkeeper batter Sarah Taylor struck 54 invaluable runs to help her team book a place in the final at Lord’s; this was her 18th half century in ODIs. She stitched a vital third wicket partnership of 76 with captain Heather Knight before getting run-out on the first ball of the thirty-third over which led to a mini collapse and a nail biting finish. This effort by Taylor, who was also declared as player of the match, laid the foundation for England’s second highest successful run chase in World Cup history.
The South African bowlers did an outstanding job in taking the match to the last over; Khaka being the pick of the bowlers. But it was the two over spell by England’s captain Heather Knight which changed the course of the match. She came on to bowl in the thirty-second over, the score was 125 for 3 and the young opener Laura Wolvaardt was batting on 66: on the second ball of the over Knight bowled Wolvaardt, on the next ball Kapp is dropped and on the fifth ball she gets run-out. This dented the momentum and South Africa only managed to set a target of 218.
Laura Wolvaardt bowled by Heather Knight
Marizanne Kapp run-out by Anya Shrubsole for 1