England clinch thrilling win to reach final of Women's World Cup

England's Anya Shrubsole celebrates scoring the winning runs with Jenny Gunn Action
England's Anya Shrubsole celebrates scoring the winning runs with Jenny Gunn

England Women 221-8 (Taylor 54) beat
South Africa Women 218-6 (Wolvaardt 66) by two wickets
Semi-final, ICC Women's World Cup, Bristol

A late comeback from South Africa did not prove enough as England completed a thrilling two wicket victory in the first semi-final of the ICC Women's World Cup in Bristol.

Chasing a target of 219 runs to win, England lost Tammy Beaumont (15) and Lauren Winfield (20) inside 13 overs but the runs came at a decent pace as they reached 61 for two.

Sarah Taylor (54) and Heather Knight (30) carried on from where the openers left and England looked comfortable as they needed 80 runs off the final 18 overs with eight wickets in hand.

Sune Luus (2-24) produced the breakthrough with the key wicket of Knight while Taylor was run out immediately on reaching her half-century that triggered a collapse in the innings.

As wickets were tumbling around, Fran Wilson (30) and Jesse Gunn (27 not out) kept the hosts in course of a win and England were left with a target of six runs off the final two overs.

Even though, Marizanne Kapp (1-23) bowled a terrific penultimate over that saw her concede just four runs and picked the wicket of Wilson, Anya Shrubsole (4 not out) struck a boundary off the first ball she faced, to steer England to the final of the tournament.

Earlier, Laura Wolvaardt (66) and Mignon du Preez (76 not out) were instrumental in setting up South Africa's total of 218 for six in the 50 overs.

Taylor was awarded with the player of the match award.

© Cricket World 2017