South Africa reached the semi-finals of their home ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with a 10-wicket win over Bangladesh at Newlands.
The Proteas made heavy weather of chasing down a modest target of 114 set by Bangladesh, powered by their outstanding captain Nigar Sultana Joty’s 30.
But chase it down they did, with 13 balls to spare, as Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits chiselled out their team’s first half-centuries of the tournament when it mattered most.
It means Sune Luus’s side are the first South African team - male or female, junior or senior - to reach the final four of a major ICC event staged on their soil.
They face an unbeaten and dangerous England team in Friday’s semi-final in Cape Town.
With Bangladesh opting to bat, Wolvaardt grassed a regulation chance in the second over to hint at that home ground pressure, Shamima Sultana adding salt to the wounds with a four two balls later.
But the Proteas still struck twice in the powerplay, Murshida Khatun chipping Marizanne Kapp to mid-on for a six-ball duck and Shamima then skying Shabnim Ismail to midwicket.
From 22 for two, Nigar Sultana Joty and Sobhana Mostary carefully rebuilt and rotated strike nicely without peppering the boundary.
Sobhana was dropped by Brits on 25 but the third-wicket stand was snapped at 33 when she missed a slog sweep across the line and Nonkululeko Mlaba hit the stumps.
16-year-old Shorna Akter hinted at her talent by lofting Mlaba handsomely over mid-off but soon departed when she was yorked by Ayabonga Khaka at 81 for four.
Kapp came back for a third ball and showed her class with a slower ball that got the big wicket of Nigar, comprehensively bowled for 30.
Khaka repeated the yorker trick to get rid of Fargana Hoque but as the Proteas began to tire in the field, Bangladesh were indefatigable and inched their way up to 113 for six.
South Africa’s reply was a fraught affair from the very start.
Nine runs came from the first four overs, Brits was dropped by Sobhana and Wolvaardt somehow survived a mix-up in the middle.
Wolvaardt hit a towering six over mid-on but Brits only survived thanks to Shamima missing two stumping chances off the spinners as they crawled to 43 without loss from 10 overs.
The pressure gradually eased and the much-needed big overs eventually came.
Brits peeled back-to-back boundaries off Shorna’s leg-spin and Wolvaardt brought up her half-century from 48 balls by flaying Nahida Akter twice through the off-side.
Brits brought up her sixth T20I half-century and two balls later, Wolvaardt struck successive boundaries to put her side in the final four.
Scores in brief
South Africa beat Bangladesh at Newlands, Cape Town by 10 wickets
Bangladesh 113 for six from 20 overs (Nigar Sultana Joty 30, Sobhana Mostary 27; Marizanne Kapp 2/17, Ayabonga Khaka 2/21)
South Africa 117 for none from 17.5 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 66 not out, Tazmin Brits 50 not out; Marufa Akter 0/19, Fahima Khatun 0/22)
Player of the Match: Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)
Sciver-Brunt brilliance leads England to record win
Nat Sciver-Brunt’s 81 not out led England to a record score to defeat Pakistan by 114 runs and go unbeaten in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 group stages.
The England vice-captain shared a 100-run partnership with Amy Jones as England posted 213 for five, becoming the first team to pass 200 runs in Women’s T20 World Cups.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: Nat Sciver-Brunt powers England to highest score in event’s history
A late flurry from Tuba Hassan and Fatima Sana could not stop Pakistan from succumbing to the heaviest defeat in Women’s T20 World Cup history as their tournament ended with a loss.
Danni Wyatt had made just 27 runs in the tournament so far, but her drought came to an end in emphatic style as she led the bullish start to England’s innings.
The right-hander opened her account with a four and six off back-to-back balls in the first over and was unperturbed when Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey were dismissed for single figure scores.
Alongside Sciver-Brunt, Wyatt brought up England’s fifty with a four, and five overs later, she crashed another boundary to reach her half-century off just 29 balls.
The end to her innings came as she searched for her third six of the game as she marched down the track but did not connect cleanly and Sidra Ameen was able to pocket the catch on the boundary as Wyatt departed for 59 from 33.
Heather Knight lasted only six balls before she was dismissed by stand-in captain Nida Dar, who reached 126 T20 international wickets, the most by a woman, overtaking West Indies’s Anisa Mohammed.
Two quick wickets did not equal any let-up from England as Jones joined Sciver-Brunt in the middle, the latter bringing up her half-century off 29 balls for her second consecutive fifty in the tournament.
Jones enjoyed the history-making moment, her six over square leg bringing up England’s 200, with the pair’s one hundred partnership coming seven balls later off just 46 deliveries.
The wicket-keeper batter departed off the final ball of the innings for 47 from 31 balls and was straight back into the action as Pakistan began their chase of 214.
Jones took a catch behind the stumps as Katherine Sciver-Brunt dismissed Sadaf Sharmas for a two-ball duck.
An early introduction of spin brought wickets as Muneeba Ali could not back up her century against Ireland with a significant score, departing for three from 10 off the bowling of Charlie Dean.
Nat Sciver-Brunt had the same success with her bowling as she had done her batting, Omaima Sohail sending a catch to Freya Davies to leave Pakistan on 15 for three.
While England punished spin, Pakistan were punished by it, Sarah Glenn undoing Nida who departed for 11 before Dean dismissed Sidra an over later.
Katherine Sciver-Brunt bounced back from figures of zero for 39 against India to dismiss Aliya Riaz for five as she ended with two wickets for 14 runs from her four overs.
Having rebuilt from 54 for seven, Tuba took 11 runs off the penultimate over, before she was run out for 28 from 20 balls as she failed to track the ball.
Jones had the final say again as she stumped Nashra Sandhu off the final delivery to send England into Friday’s semi-final on a high.
England beat Pakistan at Newlands, Cape Town by 114 runs
England 213/5 in 20 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 81 not out; Danni Wyatt 59; Fatima Sana 2/44, Tuba Hassan 1/37)
Pakistan 99/9 in 20 overs (Tuba Hassan 28, Fatima Sana 16 not out; Katherine Sciver-Brunt 2/14, Charlie Dean 2/28)
Player of the Match: Nat Sciver-Brunt (England)
Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.