South Africa 117 for 0 (Wolvaardt 66*, Brits 50*) beat Bangladesh 113 for 6 (Nigar 30, Mostary 27, Kapp 2-17, Khaka 2-21) by ten wickets
South Africa’s path to the semi-finals was scrappy to the last, but they’ll take it.
Sobhana Mostary gave Brits a life on 2 when she spilled a diving chance at mid-off and South Africa’s jittery fielding display spread into their running between the wickets with Wolvaardt and Brits twice surviving mix-ups. Having also escaped two missed stumping attempts earlier in the innings, Brits unfurled back-to-back fours off Shorna Akter in the 13th over as she and Wolvaardt reeled in their milestones and broke New Zealand hearts.
South Africa were off to a mixed start, when Wolvaardt shelled a simple chance off Shamima Sultana at backward point off Shabnim Ismail’s third ball – the ninth of the match. But then Nadine de Klerk’s leaping effort at mid-off had Murshida Khatun out next over for a six-ball duck and Brits held on at midwicket to eventually give Ismail, Shamima’s wicket.
The fielding became slapstick as Kapp and de Klerk collided trying to cut off a boundary at long-off (Kapp succeeded in keeping it to three runs) but when Brits put down another straightforward chance of Mostary, things turned serious again. It was Nonkululeko Mlaba’s gem to remove Mostary, pitched on off, drawing a sweep and clattering into off-stump that restored order for the hosts. Khaka’s pinpoint yorker to peg back Shorna’s middle stump put them on top. Kapp and Khaka claimed another wicket each and, were it not for a further dash of misfields and overthrows, the damage could have been greater for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh fail to capitalise
Bangladesh never really got going, stuttering to 23 for 2 at the end of the powerplay, and managing just 41 for 2 at the halfway mark of their innings. They found the boundary only seven times in their innings – all fours – with Nigar Sultana, their captain top-scoring on 30 from 34 balls. They did well to convert their singles with some solid running between the stumps (aided by those fielding errors), but on a pitch where England had scored 100 more runs in their record innings, it was going to be tough to defend.
Marufa, the hugely impressive 18-year-old, did her best, rapping Wolvaardt on the thigh with the first ball of South Africa’s reply and belting out an enthusiastic appeal in vain with height an issue. Then, next ball, Marufa pinned Wolvaardt low, which was given out lbw but overturned on appeal with the ball heading down the leg side to the delight of the 6,623-strong home crowd.