Danni Wyatt has scored her second one-day international century as defending champions England crushed South Africa by 137 runs to set up a mouth-watering Women’s World Cup final on Sunday against heavyweights Australia.
Wyatt, dropped five times by the wasteful South Africans, made 129 off 125 balls to help England post an imposing 8-293 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch after South Africa won the toss and elected to field in Thursday’s semi-final.
Burly seamer Anya Shrubsole, the hero of the 2017 World Cup final, pressed the advantage by removing both South Africa’s openers cheaply before world No.1-ranked spinner Sophie Ecclestone took six wickets as South Africa was routed for 156.
Having started the tournament with three straight defeats, Heather Knight’s England has rebounded with five wins.
Its victory over South Africa was its most complete performance of the tournament, with Sophia Dunkley chipping in 60 in a 116-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
The English may need to lift again to beat undefeated Australia, which is hot favourites after thrashing West Indies in the other semi-final on Wednesday and has a chip on its shoulder after being knocked out of the 2017 semi-finals.
Australia is unlikely to reproduce South Africa’s ragged fielding display, in which Wyatt was dropped on 22, 36, 77, 116 and 117 before she was finally caught by a scrambling Lizelle Lee after hitting Masabata Klaas to short third man.
The best bowling figures of her ODI career 🙌
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 31, 2022
By that time, England was well on the way to setting South Africa a would-be world record chase.