South Africa’s batting order held their nerve to deliver an upset six-wicket victory over England at the women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Perth on Sunday (February 23).
The Proteas have made the early running in Group B along with the West Indies, who beat newcomers Thailand on Saturday. Only the top two from each of the two five-team groups qualify for the knockout phase.
Chasing a modest 124, South Africa appeared in control at 90 for 1 in the 16th over before the match turned with the wickets of captain Dane Van Niekerk (46) and Marizanne Kapp (38) in quick succession.
Needing nine runs off the final over, Mignon du Preez was the hero with a six off the fourth last ball from Katherine Brunt before then hitting the winning runs with a boundary.
It capped an impressive performance from South Africa after Van Niekerk’s decision to bowl was vindicated when her accurate attack restricted England to 123 for eight off their 20 overs.
England were shackled by disciplined bowling until Natalie Sciver (50) upped the ante in the backend of the innings, but their total ultimately proved not enough.