Wyatt and Ecclestone help England breeze past South Africa and progress into to the World Cup final


They say in sport, never give up no matter what the situation is. Well, that has certainly been the case for England’s Women’s cricket team at the World Cup out in New Zealand.

After thrashing South Africa by 157 runs, the current holders have booked their place in Sunday’s final, where they will face Australia.

England amassed 293-8 in their 50 overs with opener Danni Wyatt hitting 129. The England opener took advantage of being dropped no less than five times, and along with Sophia Dunkley, the pair added 116 for the fifth wicket.

South Africa’s chances of pulling off the largest run chase in Women’s international cricket were diminished when Anya Shrubsole removed both Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee to leave the Proteas on 8-2.

Spinner Sophie Ecclestone tore through the lower order to compile her first-ever five-wicket haul, ending with the impressive figures of 6-36 as South Africa were dismissed for 156.

Compare this to the early stages of the competition when England lost their opening three games and were on the brink of elimination.

After losing their opening match to Australia by twelve runs, West Indies by seven runs and South Africa by three wickets, the current world champions looked down and out.

Their next game against India was a must-win. Simple equation, win and you have a slim chance of still qualifying, lose and you will be going home.

Under the severest of pressure, England produced the goods. They defeated India by four wickets and then knew that they had to win every other game with a chance of getting to the final.

A nail-biting affair followed against the host nation, with a one-wicket win, before a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Pakistan and a comfortable 100-run win against Bangladesh.

This remarkable turnaround can be contributed to several reasons. The side have steadily improved in all departments. They have eradicated areas with both bat and ball along with a distinct improvement in their fielding.

So, on Sunday it will be the final that everybody was craving for. The two best sides in the world going toe to toe.

Australia have been faultless in the tournament thus far, not losing a game. But as we all know, in any final it is about what happens on the day.

Certainly, England will fancy their chances and as holders will not want to let their crown slip away from them, but this magnificent Australian side will be their hardest challenge yet.


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