Source: ICC

South Africa take the day – England v South Africa – Semi-final

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England deservedly lost a semi-final everyone expected them to win. South Africa deservedly took the day, playing at their very best to gain them their first ever T20 final.

Personifying all that was wrong with the England effort, Katherine Sciver-Brunt produced a performance that degraded her in the eyes of her many admirers. It was unacceptable behaviour from England’s senior player.

She was once more given the chance to justify her extended career. Her bowling figures, 4-0-33-0, were sullied by her behaviour towards her fellow players. When Alice Capsey failed to field the ball accurately, Sciver-Brunt took it upon herself to have the youngster change positions. This used to be called ‘blowing your top’; it has no place on the cricket field. When Capsey came out to bat, she scored 0 off two balls. When KS-B went out to bat, she scored 0, lasting one ball.

I have taken the unpopular view for some time now that England’s senior player would have done well to follow the example of her sister-in-arms, Anya Shrubsole, and taken early and admired retirement.

Instead, she went on and on, picking and choosing which game formats she would deign to follow.

Heather Knight may well be asking herself this evening how wise she was to ask Sciver-Brunt to bowl the last over. She went for 18 runs, including a no-ball. I recall Lauren Bell bowling an inaccurate last over at Hove in a KSL final. She was distraught, but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Would she have let an invaluable 18 runs slip through the net? They amounted to three times the final winning margin.

To add to all this disappointment, England’s bowlers managed a grand total of 4 wickets. Sophie Ecclrstone finished with 3-22, but two of those came in a hit-or-miss 19th over.

This in turn meant that the Proteas batters really earned their corn. Lauren Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits, who had laboured painfully in the previous game, put on 96 at the start of the game. Marizanne Kapp added a quick-fire 27*, so that those two late Ecclestone wickets made little difference. 165 would take some getting.

The Reply

Danni Wyatt (34) and Sophia Dunkley (28) made another bright start, seeing the 50 up in five overs. But from there, nobody went on to play a major role. Nadine de Klerk can take the biggest credit for this failure; her medium-pacers kept restricting the batters to tame singles. She finished with the laudable analysis of 4-0-21-1. Alongside her two other bowlers made sure wickets fell all too readily, Ayabonga Khaka (4-0-29-4) and Shabnim Ismail (4-0-27-3).

To add to these luxuries Brits took no fewer than four catches, one of them likely to figure in the ‘Catch of the Tournamant’ stakes.

England reached halfway on 84-2, which mathematically was fair enough. But as the tension mounted, so did the wickets.

South Africa thoroughly desrved their victory which was rapturously greeted by a large crowd of supporters. Whether they can achieve two such wins inside three days is another matter entirely. The Aussies must have been looking on in total disbelief.

England 158-8
South Africa 164-4
South Africa win by 6 runs

Player of the Match: Tazmin Brits

Umpires: Claire Polosak (Aus) and Jacqueline Williams (WI)


Danni Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Heather Knight (captain), Amy Jones (w-k), Katherine Sciver-Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Charlie Dean, Lauren Bell

South Africa
Tazmin Brits, Laura Wolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp, Suné Luus (captain), Chloe Tryon, Anneke Bosch, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta (w-k), Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba


The South African squad had been fighting for its soul ever since Dane van Niekerk had been been omitted, perhaps even earlier. Lizelle Lee used to have lots to say at the top of the order. Could Marizanne Kapp recapture her best form?

They had managed to squeeze past Bangladesh to reach this semi. A 10-wicket win doesn’t sound much like a tight squeeze, but it was. The last time they had beaten England in a T20 was three years ago. Since then, five defeats in a row.

England had the comfort of knowing they had already won twice, batting both first and second.

A mid-afternoon start militated against a full house, but one local verdict was that this was the biggest crowd of the tournament.

England made one expected change, Lauren Bell returning at the expense of Freya Davies. The Proteas were unchanged.

Sune Luus won the toss and decided to bat. So this was their chance to cast off the shackles of their tentative mood of the previous game against Bangladesh.

The plan worked perfectly