India were knocked out of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 with the final ball of the league stage as South Africa won by three wickets.
Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj led the scoring for India with 71 and 68 as the Women in Blue set South Africa 275 to win and the Proteas emerged victorious in dramatic style thanks to 80 from Laura Wolvaardt and Mignon du Preez’s brave knock of 52 not out.
England had earlier defeated Bangladesh by 100 runs and will play South Africa in the semi-final on Thursday in Christchurch, while India’s loss confirms Australia will take on the West Indies in Wellington on Wednesday.
Australia topped the table with 14 points after going unbeaten during the round robin stage, while South Africa’s place in second was confirmed prior to the start of the match, but the win moved them to 11 points.
England end the league stage on eight points having mounted a remarkable comeback to win their final four matches after losing their first three, while the West Indies faced an agonising 72-hour wait to confirm their place in the semi-finals after their final game against South Africa was washed out and they finished on seven points.
India and New Zealand missed out on qualification for the knockout stages by just one point as they both finished on six, India ahead of the hosts on net run rate.
Bangladesh and Pakistan take up the last two spots in the table having won a game each, the Tigresses finishing in seventh thanks to a superior net run rate as every team recorded at least one victory in New Zealand.
India made a blistering start after choosing to bat, putting on 68 for no loss in the powerplay before Shafali Verma was needlessly run out on 53 after a breakdown in communication with opening partner Mandhana.
Mandhana top-scored with 71 and added 80 for the third wicket with Raj before she was excellently caught by a diving Chloe Tryon.
Raj also brought up a half-century before departing for 68 from 84 balls and Harmanpreet Kaur fell two runs short of a fifty of her own as South Africa’s bowlers hit back, Shabnim Ismail recovering from conceding 31 in her first three overs to produce figures of two for 11 in her final seven overs.
South Africa reeled India in to 274 for seven, meaning the Women in Blue would have to bowl their opponents out for under 174 to finish in third and avoid Australia.
They had a sniff when Lizelle Lee was run out by Kaur for six before Wolvaardt combined with Lara Goodall for a 125-run partnership.
Goodall was stumped one run shy of what would have been a maiden World Cup fifty before Wolvaardt was dismissed by a turning delivery from Kaur, missing another chance to make a World Cup hundred after registering her fifth half-century of the tournament.
However, she did become the tournament’s leading run scorer with 433 before leaving the field with a bowed head as Kaur wheeled away in an emotional celebration.
Kaur had another when skipper Sune Luus was given out LBW on review for 22 as South Africa slipped to 182 for four, and the all-rounder was involved again when she ran out Marizanne Kapp to leave South Africa needing 46 from 31 balls with five wickets in hand.
Tryon departed for 17 before Du Preez and Trisha Chetty took the chase to the final over, only for the wicketkeeper-batter to be run out.
Du Preez then appeared to hole out for 51 but was rescued by a Deepti Sharma no ball leaving South Africa with a free hit needing two to win from two balls.
Ismail and Du Preez took two singles to finish the job and the latter swung her arms in celebration after guiding her side to a record chase for South Africa in ODIs.
Earlier in the day, England defeated Bangladesh by 100 runs as Sophia Dunkley performed with the bat and Sophie Ecclestone delivered with the ball to ensure Heather Knight’s side made the last four.
The defending champions had slipped to 96 for four before Dunkley combined with Amy Jones to put on 72 for the fifth wicket.
Dunkley was eventually dismissed for 67 from 72 as she scored her maiden World Cup fifty before late striking from Katherine Brunt and Ecclestone hauled England up to 234 for six.
Bangladesh were wary of going for big shots, making just 23 in the powerplay before Ecclestone broke the deadlock to dismiss Sharmin Akhter for 23 and the spinner then got the other opener Shamima Sultana in her next over.
Wickets began to fall regularly as England extinguished any hopes of a Bangladesh win, Charlie Dean claiming three for 30 in tandem with spin twin Ecclestone who claimed three for 15 as the Tigresses were bowled out for 134.
Scores in brief
South Africa beat India at Hagley Oval, Christchurch by three wickets
India 274/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 71, Mithali Raj 68; Shafali Verma 53, Harmanpreet Kaur 48; Masabata Klaas 2/38, Shabnim Ismail 2/42)
South Africa 275/7 in 50 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 80, Mignon du Preez 52 not out, Lara Goodall 49; Harmanpreet Kaur 2/42, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/61)
Player of the Match: Mignon du Preez (South Africa)
England beat Bangladesh at Basin Reserve, Wellington by 100 runs
England 234/6 in 50 overs (Sophia Dunkley 67, Nat Sciver 40; Salma Khatun 2/46)
Bangladesh 134 all out in 48 overs (Lata Mondol 30; Sophie Ecclestone 3/15, Charlie Dean 3/31)
Player of the Match: Sophia Dunkley (England)
Semi-final 1, Basin Reserve, Wellington
Wednesday 30 March
Match Start: 11h00 local time
Australia (1) v West Indies (4)
Semi-final 2, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Thursday 31 March
Match Start: 14h00 local time
South Africa (2) v England (3)
With thanks to the ICC