Home Sport Cricket Mignon magic helps SA dump India out of Women’s World Cup

Mignon magic helps SA dump India out of Women’s World Cup

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Mignon du Preez scored her first half-centufry of the tournament to guide the Proteas to a Women’s World Cup win over India. Picture: ICC

Proteas star Mignon du Preez broke a billion hearts when she struck a boundary off the final ball to send India crashing out of the Women’s World Cup.

Cape Town – Mignon Du Preez broke a billion hearts when she struck a boundary off the final ball of another gripping Women’s World Cup clash to send India crashing out of the competition.

It was a night of absolute drama with South Africa requiring three runs off two balls for victory when Du Preez hit a drive straight down long off’s throat.

But ecstasy turned to agony when umpire Jacqueline Williams called Du Preez back after television replays indicated that Sharma had over stepped.

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Shabnim Ismail took a single off the resultant free hit before Du Preez sent both the South African and West Indies changerooms – the Windies now qualify for the semis at the expense of India – into raptures with the winning hit off the last ball.

“Thanks to God who even game me a no-ball (laughs). He’s definitely on my side,” Du Preez said after the game.

It was the Proteas highest successful run-chase at a World Cup, and the third best overall, with Du Preez finishing unbeaten on 51 as South Africa edged over the line with three wickets to spare.

For all Du Preez’s heroics at the end, the record 275-run chase was perfectly set up by Laura Wolvaardt, who simply reconfirmed that she is a batter of the highest quality.

With a bat in hand, Wolvaardt is waving a magic wand at this World Cup. The maiden tournament century may still prove frustratingly elusive but her 80 off 79 ball was built on precision, touch, delicacy.

It was a masterpiece of placement and timing, almost delicate in places and contained 11 luscious boundaries, and catapulted Wolvaardt to the top of the World Cup run-scorers charts.

Building up to South Africa’s semi-final against England on Thursday, the Proteas will also be well pleased that Wolvaardt was provided solid support from Lara Goodall after the early loss off Lizelle Lee to a needless run out early on.

The No.3 position has been a headache throughout this World Cup for the Proteas and Goodall has finally brought some form of relief with a composed 49 off 64 balls (4×4).

The Western Province pair of Wolvaardt and Goodall compiled a splendid 125-run partnership – South Africa’s first partnership in excess of a 100 at the World Cup – for the second wicket to set up the run chase.

As soon as they departed, the remaining 130 proved harder to get but the runs were ultimately gathered by contributions throughout the middle-order from captain Suné Luus (22), Marizanne Kapp (32), Chloe Tryon (17) and Du Preez’s undefeated half-century.

The latter’s innings was asl another positive step building towards that critical semi-final with Du Preez shrugging off some poor form in the early rounds of this World Cup.

The veteran offered a simple chance to long-off during the tense final stages, but after Smriti Mandhana shelled the opportunity Du Preez took full advantage.

She did offer another chance in similar fashion later on but it was the veteran and South Africa’s night in Christchurch.

It would certainly have been heartbreaking for India after their Mandhana (71), Shafali Verma (53), captain Mithali Raj (68) all struck half-centuries, while Harmanpreet Kaur also contributed a solid 48 to power India to 274/7.

Harmanpreet certainly tried her best in the field with two run outs and two wickets, but she could not drag India single-handedly into the semi-finals.

@ZaahierAdams

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