Proteas hero Tazmin Brits pinching herself after match-winning performance against England

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Brits starred with both bat and ball as the Proteas beat England by six runs to become the first men's or women's team to reach an ICC World Cup final. South Africa were heavy underdogs for the match but set a competitive target of 158/8 and then produced a stunning performance in the field to leave England short of the total. Brits smashed 68 off 55 balls, with six fours and two sixes, before also taking four catches - one of them an absolute stunner - to put the Proteas in the pound seats. "I don't know. I still can't believe it, to be honest with you, [it] feels like I'm still going to need to wake up in a sense," Brits said after the match. "I try not to get too emotional, but yeah, today was very, very special for me."

Brits' life story has had some remarkable twists and turns.

She was once crowned world junior javelin champion at the IAAF Athletics Championships in Ostrava at 16, but her athletic dreams went up in smoke following a serious car accident.

Her decision to turn to cricket quickly paid off, however - though never as handsomely as it did at Newlands on Friday.

Despite being massive underdogs, Brits said they always believed they were capable of beating England. "I think we've always believed that we could do it," she said. "We are more settled into it (the World Cup). We weren't expecting to be technically where we are now, so it's kind of like the underdog. The underdog ends up making you want to be better, so we just challenged the team and kept going. As for her diving one-hand catch to dismiss Alice Capsey for a duck and swing the match in the Proteas' favour, she said: "I don't know what happened there. My legs are so tired after the batting. "I just reacted and it stuck. And once they started moving me, everywhere, the ball kept following me. "At a stage, they actually said we should maybe throw you the ball to bowl, and I don't bowl at all so yeah... I don't know... the catches came and they stuck. Today was my day and I'm glad I could take it." Meanwhile, the Proteas' T20 World Cup final against Australia at Newlands on Sunday looks certain to be a sell-out. All online tickets for the fixture have been sold out, and forced tournament organisers made another 3 000 available earlier this week for Newlands' upper tier. Sunday's final in Cape Town starts at 15:00.

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