Women’s T20 World Cup
South Africa clinch victory over England
PERTH: South Africa beat England for the first time at a T20 World Cup, clinching a dramatic victory with two balls to spare as Mignon du Preez celebrated her 100th T20I appearance with a match-winning cameo.
After being asked to bat first at the WACA, England initially started well. Amy Jones, who has struggled for runs and fluency since arriving in Australia, began in fine fashion, striking two boundaries in the opening over and four overall, before she clubbed Marizanne Kapp to mid-off.
The dismissal of the England wicketkeeper brought about a significant shift in momentum. Danni Wyatt fell three balls later and from then through to the dismissal of Fran Wilson midway through the 14th over – chipping Dane van Niekerk’s leg-spin to long-on, England managed just 46 runs in a ten-over period.
During that time, captain Heather Knight was also dismissed by van Niekerk; she drove over mid-off but was well caught by Shabnim Ismail running round from long-on as England struggled to move on their score on a flat surface with short boundaries and a fast outfield.
There has been much debate around Tammy Beaumont’s batting position – she was carded to come in at No.6 here, before being relegated further to accommodate Katherine Brunt. That topic of discussion will not have quietened after this display. She only arrived at the crease with 14 balls to go of an innings that always felt 15 runs below par.
When the Kent batsman did enter the fray, however, she struck two fours in a six-ball cameo. Meanwhile, Nat Sciver continued to drag England towards a total as she shouldered the boundary-hitting burden.
The allrounder missed her side’s two warmup games against New Zealand and Sri Lanka as a precaution because of a knee problem. Yet, she looked in fine fettle in Perth – her Women’s Big Bash home, where she played alongside Jones under Lisa Keightley. She reached a fine half century from 40 balls, though she was bowled immediately afterwards by Ayabonga Khaka as she looked to chase late runs. – AFP