Women’s World Cup: Danni Wyatt scored 129 of 125 deliveries in the semifinals.© AFP
Danielle Wyatt took full advantage of the luck that came her way to a memorable 100 as defending champions England showed their great match temperament with a 137-point win over South Africa to enter Thursday’s ODI Women’s World Cup final. Wyatt (129 out of 125), who was dropped five times, hit a first World Cup hundred before Sophia Dunkley produced a fine 60 from 72 balls to take England to an imposing 293 for eight after South Africa chose to bowl. South Africa, which had reached the final four stages as the second best team from the competition stage and also eliminated India from the competition, succumbed to the pressure of a knockout match.
They could never recover from the blow they received in the second over of the chase when pacer Anya Shrubsole caught and threw the leading go-getter of the tournament Laura Wolvaardt. Their innings ended at 156 in 38 overs.
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone completed the job for England by clearing the lower order, finishing with six wickets for 36 runs in eight overs. She had also hit an undefeated 24 from 11 balls to bring England close to the 300 run.
With five wins at the trot after three losses that left them staring at an early exit, the English juggernaut is well and truly rolling as they are on the cusp of a fifth title. Their latest and trusted opponent Australia, on the other hand, is looking forward to a record-extending seventh crown.
It was a brilliant display of swing bowling from Shrubsole who broke South Africa’s spine during the run chase.
Wolvaardt’s opening partner Lizelle Lee was Shrubsole’s second wicket when the out-of-form batter fired it straight into the mid-wicket fielder’s hand, ending her forgettable campaign in the ICC event.
After Kate Cross removed Sune Luus with a beauty who seemed to soon bounce back, it was writing on the wall for South Africa, who paid the price for their sloppiness on the pitch early in the game.
Their decision to hunt in a high-pressure match was also a questionable one.
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