England women rode an emotional roller-coaster before reaching the World Cup final with a thrilling victory over South Africa.
No.10 batsman Anya Shrubsole struck her first ball for four to propel England over the winning line by two wickets with two deliveries remaining
Just 24 hours after the men were humiliated by the Proteas, it showed that at least one England team could beat South Africa in a big match.
But they almost tossed it away with a mixture of run outs and panicky dismissals after apparently cruising to a victory target of 219.
Heather Knight’s team will now face either Australia or India in the final at Lord’s on Sunday and the match is already a 26,500 sell-out.
Knight said: “We haven’t put in a perfect performance in the tournament yet but we keep finding ways to win.
“The profile of women’s cricket is increasing and that’s credit to the players and the standard they are producing. It’s a better game to watch and brings spectators to the grounds. All we can do is keep putting in performances to showcase the game.
“Our aim all along has been to get to Lord’s, win the final and sing the team song. We’re now just one victory away from achieving that.”
England reached 139-2 with star batsman Sarah Taylor and Knight looking in control. But Taylor was run out, Knight whacked a full toss to square leg and Nat Sciver was bowled behind her legs.