Sciver, Shrubsole send South Africa packing

South Africa endured more heartbreak against England in an ICC event as they were sent crashing out of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 after another shambolic batting display. While their semifinal defeat in last year’s World Cup was a close contest, this Group A encounter barely even qualified as one.

Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole claimed three wickets apiece, with the latter getting a hat-trick, as South Africa were bowled out for 85. England then romped to the target with 35 balls and seven wickets to spare.

South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk had issued a rallying call asking her batters to step up after their cataclysmic collapse (9 for 28) in the defeat to Windies. Niekerk even elected to bat to keep scoreboard pressure at bay in a must-win clash but the batting still crumbled in the face of the Sciver-Shrubsole attack.

They got off to a rather slow start with the misfiring Lizelle Lee accumulating dot balls. Sciver, taking the new ball in Katherine Brunt’s absence, was at her miserly best despite not getting the early wickets she craved. In the eighth over, she put Lee out of her miseries, trapping her LBW for a 26-ball 12. By the 10th over, the scoreboard read a sorry 33/4 with van Niekerk’s run-out adding salt to the wounds.

Chloe Tryon (27) and Mignon du Preez staged a brief 25-run resistance but once Kirstie Gordon dismissed the latter, South Africa slipped into free fall. Sciver came back to dismiss Tryon and Faye Tunnicliffe to finish with figures of 3 for 4 from her quota of overs, which included a staggering 20 dot balls.

Shrubsole, the star of last year’s World Cup final, added the gloss to an impressive bowling performance by dismissing Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas and Yolani Fourie in the last over to take the tournament’s first hat-trick as South Africa folded for 85.

Danielle Wyatt (27) and Tammy Beaumont (24) put the result beyond doubt with a brisk 55-run first-wicket partnership, 41 of which were scored in the PowerPlay. Captain Niekerk, who was left fighting tears by the end of the game, briefly attempted to inspire hopes of a fightback by sending back the two openers but England had enough quality in their batting ranks to complete the rout at the start of the 15th over.

Brief scores: South Africa 85 in 19.3 overs (Chloe Tryon 27; Natalie Sciver 3-4, Anya Shrubsole 3-11) lost to England 87/3 in 14.1 overs (Danielle Wyatt 27, Tammy Beaumont 24; Dane van Niekerk 2-13) by seven wickets.

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