England rout South Africa to storm into final

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Danni Wyatt’s century and Sophie Eccletone’s sensational six-wicket haul helped England book a place in the final of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, beating South Africa by 137 runs in Christchurch.

Danni Wyatt’s 129 off 125 set the tone for England after they were put in to bat. She was given multiple lifelines through dropped catches and she made South Africa pay, propelling England to 293/8 in a crunch semi-final.

Sophie Eccelstone ran through South Africa’s middle and lower-order with figures of 6/36, her best ODI bowling figures, and the best in this year’s World Cup as well.

Having lost their first three games in the World Cup, few had given England a chance to advance to the next stage and even fewer to the finals. Since then, England have played each game as a virtual knockout and now find themselves defending the title they won in 2017.

South Africa’s dream run in the World Cup came to a screeching halt as they were outplayed by England in all three departments.

It was the worst possible start for South Africa, as the in-form batter and the leading run-scorer of the tournament – Laura Wolvaardt walked back without troubling the scorers. Lizelle Lee’s torrid time with the bat continued when she perished for 2. 

Kate Cross accounted for Skipper Sune Luus (21) and Charlie Dean knocked over Lara Goodall’s timber for 29. 

Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp had to once again rebuild the innings, but Ecclestone ran riot through the rest of the batting lineup, picking up all the remaining six wickets, starting with South Africa’s ‘crisis woman’ Kapp. 

Experienced duo Ismail (3/46) and Kapp (2/52) bowled well, but England and Wyatt in particular scored freely against South Africa’s other bowling options. Dunkley proved the perfect foil for Wyatt as the duo combined for a 116-run stand that set England on their way and helped them to their big score.

Brief scores: 

England: 293/8 (Wyatt 129, Dunkley 60, Ismail 3-46) 

South Africa: 156 all out (Du Preez 30, Ecclestone 6-36, Shrubsole 2-27) 

(ICC)