“I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t have answers,” said Proteas Women skipper Dané van Niekerk. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia – Anya Shrubsole took a hat trick as England thrashed South Africa by seven wickets in Saint Lucia on Friday in the ICC Women’s World T20.

Hosts and reigning champions West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 83 runs later in the evening to send themselves and England into the last four.

It was a must-win game for World Cup champions England after their opening game against Sri Lanka was washed out, but a tame effort with the bat from the Proteas Women ensured the match was never a real contest.

“Anya’s bowled brilliantly for us, and to have so few runs to chase was nice,” said England captain Heather Knight.

The usually big-hitting Lizelle Lee crawled to a 26-ball 12 before being trapped lbw by Natalie Sciver, who ended with incredible figures of 3/4 from four overs, as South Africa mustered a paltry 85 all out.

Shrubsole, the star of England’s thrilling World Cup final win over India last year, wrapped up the innings by becoming only the second woman from her country to take a T20 international hat trick after Sciver against New Zealand in 2013.

She dismissed Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas and Yolani Fourie with the first three deliveries of the final over.

England openers Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont put on a quick-fire 55, and wicket-keeper Amy Jones’ driven four wrapped up a thumping victory with 35 balls to spare.

“The manner of the loss (means) we owe an apology to our whole country, it’s not our character to roll over like that,” bemoaned Proteas Women skipper Dané van Niekerk, who was run out backing up for one.

“We have the firepower and the talent, but you need to perform at World Cups against quality sides like England.

“I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t have answers.”