England ease into World Cup final against Australia after thumping South Africa in semi-final | Cricket News

Watch the Women’s World Cup final between defending champions England and six-time winners Australia live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 1.30am on Sunday; Danni Wyatt scores century and Sophie Ecclestone takes six wickets as England trounce South Africa by 137 runs in semi-final

Last Updated: 31/03/22 9:37am


England beat South Africa by 137 runs to make it through to the Women's Cricket World Cup Final where they will face Australia in Christchurch on Sunday.

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England beat South Africa by 137 runs to make it through to the Women’s Cricket World Cup Final where they will face Australia in Christchurch on Sunday.

England beat South Africa by 137 runs to make it through to the Women’s Cricket World Cup Final where they will face Australia in Christchurch on Sunday.

England Women are one win away from successfully defending the World Cup title after a crushing 137-run victory over South Africa set up a showdown with Australia in Sunday’s final.

Danni Wyatt (129 off 125 balls) punished South Africa for dropping her five times as her second ODI hundred propelled England to 293-8 from their 50 overs in Christchurch.

England spinner Sophie Ecclestone then bagged 6-36 – the best figures by a bowler in this World Cup and her maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket – as South Africa were rolled for 156 in 38 overs.

England opener Wyatt was spilled on 22, 36, 77, 116 and 117 with her first World Cup ton, and 116-run stand with Sophia Dunkley (60) for the fifth wicket, leaving the Proteas facing a daunting chase.

South Africa – whose wait for a maiden World Cup final appearance goes on – lost openers Laura Wolvaardt (0) and Lizelle Lee (2) inside four overs to slip to 8-2, Anya Shrubsole (2-27) with both wickets.

Sune Luus’ side never really recovered and Ecclestone, the top-ranked bowler in both ODI and T20 cricket, ran amok after coming into the attack in the 24th over with her dismissal of Trisha Chetty, stumped by wicketkeeper Amy Jones, wrapping up England’s comprehensive victory.

England recover from horror start to tournament

Heather Knight’s side’s hopes of retaining the trophy were hanging by the proverbial thread after they lost their first three round-robin matches to Australia, West Indies and South Africa.

But they won their final four group games to secure a spot in the semi-finals and then overpowered South Africa, beating the Proteas in the last four for the second successive 50-over World Cup.

England are now aiming to topple favourites and six-time champions Australia, who have won all eight of their games in this year’s competition and eased into Sunday’s showpiece with a 157-run demolition of West Indies on Wednesday.

After thrashing South Africa by 137 runs, Anya Shrubsole says England are full of confidence heading into Sunday's Women's World Cup final against Australia.

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After thrashing South Africa by 137 runs, Anya Shrubsole says England are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final against Australia.

After thrashing South Africa by 137 runs, Anya Shrubsole says England are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final against Australia.

Australia are the only team in history to win back-to-back Women’s World Cups – the Southern Stars triumphing three times in a row in 1978, 1982 and 1988 – but England will become the second if they are victorious this weekend, a result which would make them five-time champions overall.

Australia have won 37 of their last 38 one-day internationals against all opposition, including their last seven against England, with the sides’ most recent meeting coming during the opening weekend of this tournament as the Southern Stars ran out 12-run victors at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

England will head into Sunday’s title game full of confidence having stretched their winning streak to five matches with a thoroughly clinical performance against South Africa, whose only defeat in the group phase had come at the hands of unbeaten Australia.

Danni Wyatt's century helped England trounce South Africa by 137 runs in Christchurch

Danni Wyatt’s century helped England trounce South Africa by 137 runs in Christchurch

Wyatt punishes sloppy South Africa

England were in danger of wobbling at 126-4 in the 26th over when Jones (28) was caught at midwicket off Marizanne Kapp (2-52) with Nat Sciver (15), captain Knight (1) and Wyatt’s opening partner Tammy Beaumont (7) having fallen cheaply earlier on.

However, Wyatt and Dunkley shared a century stand, during which Wyatt clinched her first ODI ton since 2019 from 98 deliveries having been gifted a number of reprieves by sloppy South African fielding – the right-hander amassed 12 fours in total during her knock.

Dunkley played a key role as well as she carded her third ODI fifty, four days after notching her second in the 100-run success against Bangladesh that clinched England’s spot in the semi-finals.

Wyatt and Dunkley were dismissed in the closing stages – Dunkley caught off the three-wicket Shabnim Ismail (3-46) – but Ecclestone pumped up England’s score with three boundaries in a row off Ismail in the final over before she was castled last ball.

Anya Shrubsole celebrates after dismissing Laura Wolvaardt for a duck

Anya Shrubsole celebrates after dismissing Laura Wolvaardt for a duck

Ecclestone destroys Proteas in run chase

Ecclestone had a watching brief for the first section of the chase as Shrubsole removed Wolvaardt – the leading run-scorer in the tournament – and Lee inside the first four overs, caught and bowled and pouched by Sciver at midwicket respectively.

Kate Cross (1-27) and Charlie Dean (1-41) then struck in the middle overs as South Africa were reduced to 67-4 in the 19th – before Ecclestone dismantled the middle and lower order to move on to 20 wickets for the tournament.

The spinner bowled Kapp (21) and Mignon du Preez (30), had Chloe Tryon (3), Ismail (12) and Masabata Klaas (3) caught and then polished off proceedings by having Chetty stumped to leave England one victory away from completing a quite staggering turnaround.

Watch the Women’s World Cup final between England and Australia live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup from 1am on Sunday.


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