England beat SA to reach Women's Cricket World Cup final
20 July, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
"We wish we could have done it for them, but we can take heart in knowing that at least at the next World Cup, we have the capability and ability to go all the way to the final".
Laura Wolvaardt (66) and an unbeaten 76 from Mignon du Preez had earlier given South Africa hope of a shock victory.
But Lee's reprieve did not last long, after she heaved across the line in Shrubsole's very next over and was bowled. The batter herself should also be given some blame for the dismissal as she tried to swing across the line while the ball still had some swing in it.
It was the 18-year-old opener's fourth half-century of the tournament and came off 81 balls, including six fours.
There were plenty of tears at the end of the game and the way Gunn commiserated with the South African players was reminiscent of the way Andrew Flintoff famously comforted Brett Lee after the 2005 Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
England fast bowler Mark Wood has been passed fit for next week's Third Test against South Africa at The Oval after scans revealed no serious injury on his left heel.
Wolvaardt passed 50 while forging a strong partnership with Du Preez and it was not until the 32nd over that England managed another breakthrough as Wolvaardt was bowled by Heather Knight to leave South Africa 125-3. It was Ayabonga Khakha who came into the attack at first change and provided both control and the breakthroughs. Total: (8 wickets; 49.4 overs) 221.
Yet England, set 219 to win, held its nerve to complete its second highest successful run chase in World Cup history, built on the third-wicket partnership of 78 between Taylor and England captain Heather Knight.
England will now wait for the outcome of the other semi-final with interest. The Proteas skipper was lethal and affected a brilliant direct hit to run out the well set Taylor with a direct hit. But Taylor was run out, Knight whacked a full toss to square leg and Nat Sciver was bowled behind her legs.
England will now face either Australia or India in the final at Lord's on Sunday.
On Tuesday the historic Ashley Down stadium was once again filled with a majority of young fans, many of whom were playing their own games of cricket around the perimeters of the ground. They bat really deep, with players such as Fran Wilson (30 off 38 balls) and Jenny Gunn (27 not out off 27 balls) coming in lower down the order. The pair saw England to within 6 runs of victory when Wilson got out.
South Africa were left wiping tears, and perhaps thinking about 25 extras. Another wicket fell in the last over to prolong the drama, but England finally scraped home with 2 wickets and two balls to spare.
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