End of the hoodoo! South Africa finally win a senior World Cup semi-final
South Africa’s history of semi-final heartache spans both men’s and women’s senior teams, with neither having previously been able to take that penultimate step into either a Cricket World Cup or T20 World Cup final.
Prior to Friday’s Cape Town classic against England, South African teams had played a combined eleven semi-finals at ICC World Cups, failing to win all of those.
But Sune Luus and her talented squad have ended the hoodoo, beating England by six runs in stunning fashion to make history and set up a final showdown with Australia at Newlands.
We take a look back at South Africa’s long and rocky road to reaching their first Women’s World Cup final.
Cricket World Cup 2000 – Lost to Australia by nine wickets
Every member of South Africa’s top seven reached double figures as the Proteas batted first in Lincoln. But not a single one reached a half-century as Australia restricted them to 180/8.
And in a display of power that showcased Australia’s class, Belinda Clark, Lisa Keightley and Karen Rolton chased it down for the loss of just a single wicket with 18.4 overs remaining.
T20 World Cup 2014 – Lost to England by nine wickets
A top-order collapse did for South Africa early in the T20 semi-final in 2014, with only Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon reaching double figures as they were bowled out for 101.
England rattled off the reply with ease to hand South Africa another semi-final defeat.
Cricket World Cup 2017 – Lost to England by two wickets
Five years ago it was also England who stood between South Africa and a place in the final, with a dramatic finish denying Dane van Niekerk’s side.
Laura Wolvaardt (66) and Mignon du Preez (76*) top-scored as South Africa reached a competitive 218/6.
But England’s tail wagged just when South Africa looked to be on the brink of victory, with Anya Shrubsole’s boundary securing the win for England in a dramatic final over with just two balls remaining.
T20 World Cup 2020 – Lost to Australia by five runs
Two years ago it was another heartbreaking loss that denied South Africa in the T20 World Cup semi-final. The Aussies reached 134/5 in their 20 overs, before the rain came to shorten South Africa’s reply and lower the target.
Needing 97 in 13 overs, the Proteas got close thanks to fireworks from Wolvaardt (41*).
But they couldn’t quite make up the run rate late on, falling five runs short in an agonising final over.
Cricket World Cup 2022 – Lost to England by 137 runs
The shoe was on the other foot in last year’s Cricket World Cup, as England amassed 293/8 in their first innings and had South Africa in a spin in the reply.
Sophie Ecclestone was the star with the ball, taking 6/36 in a brilliant spell that saw South Africa slip to a 137-run defeat.
T20 World Cup 2023 – Beat England by six runs
Victory at long last!
Having pulled off a great escape to make it out of the group stage, South Africa beat in-form England with a brilliant all-round display in front of a fanatical home crowd.
The win was set up by excellent half-centuries from Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits, with Marizanne Kapp adding a flurry of late runs in a big final over.
And a stunning bowling performance and some superb fielding saw South Africa produce clutch moment after clutch moment to come out on top in a thrilling second innings.
What a moment! What a win! What a way to end the hoodoo!
From 2020 #T20WorldCup semi-final heartbreak to booking their spot in the 2023 final.— ICC (@ICC) February 24, 2023
South Africa have come a long way 👏 pic.twitter.com/QW6s5EzISL