Cape Town - The Proteas Women’s team want to continue “inspiring the nation” after smashing the record books on Friday to become the first South African senior cricket team to progress to a World Cup final.
The Proteas defeated England by six runs in a nail-biting ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final that had everyone on the edge of their seats until the final ball.
It was just revenge for the Proteas after losing to England in the 50-overs World Cup semi-final in New Zealand last year.
The victory was set up the batters with openers Tazmin Brits (68) and Laura Wolvaardt (53) both striking half-centuries as they put together a 96-run partnership for the first wicket. This allowed the big-hitting Marizanne Kapp to provide the finishing touches with a 13-ball 27 not out that propelled South Africa to 164/4.
The home team still needed to bowl well, especially after England’s openers roared out of the starting blocks that had everyone inside the stadium and watching at home on television believing that it may yet again be one step too far for the Proteas.
But spurred on by the passionate Newlands crowd, the Proteas clawed their way back into the contest through Cravenby-born fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (3/27).
The game, however, was turned on its head when Ayabonga Khaka claimed three wickets in the 18th over that swung the game in the Proteas’ favour before Ismail closed it out by defending 13 runs in the final over to set off a manic celebration both on the field and in the stands.
"First of all, England, well played. It was a great match. We were in and out of the game and it went in waves. We do have the best bowling in the world, but it was against the best batting attack in the world. We kept saying to them they need to be brave and play free cricket,” captain Sune Luus said.
"Every game we play, we keep making history and keep inspiring a nation. I hope with one game to go we keep doing that. Thanks to the crowd and I hope that they turn up to support us for the final on Sunday.”
The Proteas will face defending champions Australia in the final on Sunday, which starts at 3pm and will also be at Newlands.