The first semifinal of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup witnessed a nail-biting contest between hosts England and South Africa played at Bristol. The game went down to the wire as tail-ender Anya Shrubsole kept her cool to strike winning runs by piercing a wide delivery through the covers to help England qualify for the finals of the competition.
South Africa has been surprise package of the tournament as they did exceedingly well in the round-robin stages to qualify for the semis. Dane Van Niekerk did well with her tactics as the side was in the hunt for the most period to qualify for their first-ever finals. Shabnam Ismail was erratic in the game and did bowl a lot of wides. The extras in the end made a huge difference as to what could have been special day for South Africa.
Laura Winfield and Tammy Beaumont went early as Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight played well to see England placed at 139 for 2 at one stage. But the departure of Taylor due to direct hit from Van Niekerk saw a collapse in the middle as Knight and Sciver went in space of few overs to see England needing more than 70-odd runs with the loss of five wickets.
Fran Wilson and Jenny Gunn played well under pressure to keep the scoreboard ticking as South African bowlers erred in their lengths.The game came down to the final over of the innings with England needing 4 runs off the last over. The wicket of Laura Marsh meant it was up to Shrubsole to finish the job for her side.
Earlier, South Africa batted as Magnon de Preez played well to see the side put up a good total on the board. Laura Wolvaardt also played well at the top of the order after the side lost their leading scorer Lizelle Lee for a duck.