CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa upset England by six runs to reach its first Women’s T20 World Cup final on Friday.
Seamers Ayabonga Khaka and Shabnim Ismail shared seven wickets for the host team and kept a powerful English batting lineup at bay.
South Africa will face two-time defending champion Australia in Sunday’s final and has the chance of doing something the men’s national team has never done — win a cricket World Cup, with the added bonus of it being on home soil.
Khaka took three wickets in the 18th over and finished with 4-29, tearing through England’s middle order in those six balls when they looked on course to successfully chase down South Africa’s 164-4.
Ismail had 3-27 and bowled the tense last over, when England still had a chance, needing 13 runs with captain Heather Knight at the wicket on 31 not out. Ismail’s third ball of the over angled in at Knight, clipped her on the hip and knocked out her leg stump, effectively sealing it for South Africa.
England needed to hit two sixes off the last two balls and managed only three more runs to finish on 158-8.
“It was a great match,” South Africa captain Sune Luus said. “We were in and out of the game and it went in waves. We do have the best bowling in the world but it was against the best batting attack in the world. We kept saying . . . need to be brave and play free cricket.”