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Women’s World Cup: Danni Wyatt, Sophie Ecclestone star as England crush South Africa in semi-final | Cricket News


Women’s World Cup: Danni Wyatt hit 129 of 125 deliveries in the semifinals.© AFP

Danielle Wyatt made the most of the luck that came her way on her way to an unforgettable century when defending champions England showed their temper in big matches with a 137-run victory over South Africa on Thursday to enter the final of the Women’s One-Day World Cup. Wyatt (129 of 125), who has been dropped five times, hit a first World Cup century before Sophia Dunkley delivered a good 60 off 72 balls to take England to an impressive 293 for eight after South Africa selected has to bowl. South Africa, who reached the last four phases as the second best team of the league phase and also eliminated India from the competition, crumbled under the pressure of a knockout match.

They could never recover from the body blow they received in the second over of the chase when pacemaker Anya Shrubsole caught tournament’s leading running back Laura Wolvaardt caught and bowled. Their innings ended at 156 in 38 overs.

Left-hander Sophie Ecclestone completed the task for England by clearing the lower order and finishing with six wickets for 36 runs in eight overs. She also hit an unbeaten 24 off 11 balls to take England close to the 300-run mark.

With five wins on the run after three defeats that left them staring at an early retirement, England’s youngster is on the roll as they stand on the threshold of a fifth title. Their last and well-known opponents Australia, on the other hand, are looking at a record-breaking seventh crown.

It was a brilliant display of swing bowling from Shrubsole that broke the backbone of South Africa’s batting in the run chase.

Wolvaardt’s starting partner, Lizelle Lee, was Shrubsole’s second wicket as the out-of-shape batsman struck it straight into the hand of the mid-wicket fielder, ending her memorable campaign in the ICC event.

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After Kate Cross removed Sune Luus with a beauty that hit back sharply, the writing was on the wall for South Africa, who paid the price for their sloppiness in the field early in the match.

Their decision to race in a high-pressure race was also a dubious one.

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