SYDNEY (Reuters) - South Africa and England registered comfortable victories against Pakistan and West Indies respectively in their Group B matches on Sunday to seal their spots in the semi-finals of the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup.
Group A leaders India were the first to reach the last four and the final place will go to the winner of Monday’s clash between hosts Australia and their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.
After South Africa registered a 17-run win against Pakistan, England thumped West Indies by 46 runs to claim their third win and climb to the top of Group B on net run rate. South Africa, however, have a game in hand against the Caribbean side.
Laura Wolvaardt did not get a chance to bat in the previous two matches but made a brisk, unbeaten half-century to help South Africa to a win over Pakistan for their third victory from as many matches.
Pakistan’s Diana Baig dismissed Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk with the new ball to peg back South Africa before the experienced pair of Marizanne Kapp, who made 31, and Mignon du Preez propped up the innings.
Wolvaardt produced the late fireworks during her knock of 53 off 36 balls that helped South Africa to post 136-6 after opting to bat first.
The 20-year-old hit five boundaries from the last six deliveries she faced to provide momentum to South Africa’s innings, which proved beyond Pakistan’s reach as they finished on 119-5.
Pakistan got off to a poor start in their chase and were reduced to 26-3 inside the seventh over before Javeria Khan, leading the side instead of injured captain Bismah Maroof, started Pakistan’s recovery with a knock of 31.
Javeria’s 100th T20 international appearance came to a cruel end when she was run out at the non-striking end after bowler Chloe Tryon deflected Aliya Riaz’s drive on to the stumps.
Pakistan eventually fell short despite an unbeaten 47-run sixth-wicket stand between Aliya Riaz, who hit 39 from 32, and Iram Javed.
Natalie Sciver played Wolvaardt’s role for England, anchoring the innings for the 2018 finalists with a 56-ball 57 to help them to post 143-5.
Amy Jones played a vital cameo of 23 off 13 balls down the order as England scored freely in the final overs to take the target outside the reach of the 2016 winners.
West Indies struggled in their chase and were dealt a huge blow when captain Stafanie Taylor had to be carried off on a stretcher after she suffered a leg injury while batting on 15.
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone picked up three wickets for seven runs as the West Indies innings folded up for 97 in the 18th over with Taylor unable to return to bat.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Clare Fallon