Five things we learned from England's defeat to South Africa

·3-min read
England's Nat Sciver
England's Nat Sciver

Nat Sciver’s half-century was not enough to spoil Mignon du Preez’s 100th T20I cap celebrations as South Africa recorded a historic Women’s T20 World Cup victory over England.

Despite depth in England’s star-studded batting line-up, beyond Sciver’s half-century only Fran Wilson (14) reached double figures.

England bowled well under the circumstances and stretched South Africa to the final over, but Du Preez punished Katherine Brunt on her final over with a six and a four to give South Africa their first-ever World Cup win over group favourites England.

Hannah Thompson looked at five things we learned from the performance.

Mignon du Preez deserved that moment

Mignon du Preez oozes experience, class and reliance as the batter has become a player that can be called upon in the middle order.

The player of the moment scored the winning runs in South Africa’s maiden victory over England and celebrated her own personal historic achievement becoming the first South African player to reach 100 T20I caps.

Having been captain of the South African side who lost to England in the 2014 T20 World Cup semi-final, there could have been no-one better placed in the Proteas’ side to enact the overdue revenge.

Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp send warning to the world

In every team there are match winners, but the all-round depth of South Africa’s stars is often overlooked.

The second wicket pairing of captain van Niekerk and Kapp is certainly a duo that should not be underestimated at this World Cup.

Leading by example, captain van Niekerk (46)) notched an 84-run partnership alongside Kapp (38) to control South Africa’s innings to put the pressure on England.

With two wickets apiece against the 2009 champions, they will definitely be players to watch in this tournament.

Drop catches proved costly for England

Despite England setting a low target, they made South Africa work for their runs taking the match to the last over. South Africa held on to every chance they got and as the saying goes; catches win matches.

Lauren Winfield denied Sciver a wicket maiden as Kapp was dropped on four runs and a further two drops in the field begs the question would England have gone on to win if these opportunities were taken.

England must win their remaining fixtures to ensure a place in the semi-finals.

England’s batting order needs a rethink

Head Coach Lisa Keightley has not been afraid to make changes and freshen up the batting line-up but dropping Tammy Beaumont to seven has sparked plenty of debate.

Beaumont (9) came in too late to impact the innings but she gave her side a clear lift when she entertained in the middle.

Sciver in at three proved valuable with a half-century but with little contributions from those around her, she was left to carry the team.

Young spinners shine despite defeat

Debutant Sarah Glenn goes quietly about her business but will be happy with an individual caught and bowled effort to dismiss Kapp as her first tournament wicket.

The 20-year-old spinner’s exploits came at a crucial time to put England back into the mix with five overs remaining and South Africa 90-2 requiring 33 off 30 balls.

And seemingly Inspired by the tournament pressure, fellow 20-year-old Ecclestone stood up to the challenge by removing van Niekerk shortly after Glenn dismissed Kapp.

Suddenly, England had a spark of hope as the dot balls amounted and South Africa stagnated on 90-3.

Ecclestone returned to finish her spell and sent the dangerous Chloe Tryon back to the dugouts with a smart clean bowl.

Not quite enough to be England’s hero but fine figures of 19-2 will give the 20-year-old plenty of confidence ahead of England’s upcoming games against Thailand and Pakistan in Canberra.