Undefeated half-centuries from openers, Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt helped South Africa secure a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh to emphatically seal a semi-final spot in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in front of a vibrant Newlands Stadium on Tuesday.
Brits scored a 51-ball 50* while Wolvaardt recorded a career-best 66* off 56 deliveries as the Proteas Women triumphantly chased down Bangladesh’s first innings score of 113 / 6 after vital contributions with the ball from seamers Marizanne Kapp (2 / 17) and Ayabonga Khaka (2 / 21).
After losing the toss and being asked bowl first, South Africa made a bright start in the field as Kapp struck in the third over of the contest, with Nadine de Klerk taking a superb overhead catch to get rid of Murshida Khatun without scoring.
The visitor’s innings was further hindered by a wicket from Shabnim Ismail (1 / 22) in the final over of the powerplay as Bangladesh was restricted to 23 / 2 at the end of the initial six overs.
Although the Tigresses managed to navigate themselves towards the halfway mark of their batting display without losing another wicket, scoring freely remained a challenge for the away side before Nonkululeko Mlaba (1 / 21) made the breakthrough, skittling Sobhana Mostary (27) to leave Bangladesh 55 / 3 in the 13th over.
After a difficult opening period with the bat, Bangladesh faired a lot better in their final seven overs, as skipper Nigar Sultana (30) led from the front to nudge her side towards three figures before more crucial strikes from Kapp and Khaka helped the hosts inhibit the subcontinent outfit.
Bangladesh eventually finished on 113 / 6 in their allotted overs, setting South Africa a target of 114 in order to book the final available spot in the knockout stages.
In their chase, the Proteas made a steady start with the bat as Wolvaardt and Brits safely guided South Africa through a testing powerplay as they reached the six-over mark on a par score of 26 / 0.
After being restricted to just 43 / 0 after 10 overs, the two set openers then began to play their natural game as they took the game away from the spirited Bangladeshis with Wolvaardt leading the charge, dispatching seven fours and a six enroute to her fifth T20I fifty.
Her opening partner, Brits, adopted a more measured approach, hitting four boundaries to bring up her sixth career half-ton before South Africa reached their set target in the 18th over to become the first South African side, male or female, to reach a home World Cup semi-final.
The Proteas Women will now take on England in the second semi-final on Friday, 24 February in pursuit of a maiden T20 World Cup final taking place this coming Sunday.
Momentum Proteas 15 player squad for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup South Africa 2023:
Suné Luus (Titans) (Captain), Chloé Tryon (Dolphins) (Vice-Captain), Anneke Bosch (North West Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province), Annerie Dercksen (Garden Route Badgers), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Dolphins), Sinalo Jafta (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Lions), Masabata Klaas (North West Dragons), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Dolphins), Delmi Tucker (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
South Africa’s Fixtures – ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023
Thursday, 23 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Semi-Final 1: Australia vs India (Newlands, Cape Town)
Friday, 24 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Semi-Final 2: South Africa vs England (Newlands, Cape Town)
Sunday, 26 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Final (Newlands, Cape Town)
Tazmin Brits of South Africa and Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa celebrate after winning the the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match between South Africa and Bangladesh at Newlands Cricket Ground on February 21 (supplied by CSA)