Ecclestone heroics sends England into the Cricket World Cup final
England will meet Australia in the Cricket World Cup Final after beating South Africa by 137 runs in Christchurch.
Thunder’s Sophie Ecclestone took career best figures (6/36) and her first international five-for as South Africa were bowled out for 156 in their pursuit of 294 for a place in the final.
Ecclestone has set a new record as she has took the most wickets for England at a single ICC Cricket World Cup tournament.
The number one ranked ODI bowler achieved this when she took the wicket of Mignon Du Preez, becoming her Ecclestone’s 17th victim of the tournament.
The left arm spinner then wrapped up the tail dismissing the last three South African batters, taking her tally to 20 in the competition. Ecclestone also hit 24 from just 11 balls at the end of England innings.
Fellow Thunder teammate Kate Cross carried on her fine form in the tournament as she took 1-22 from her six overs, with the wicket of South African captain Sune Luus.
Cross - who now has seven wickets in the tournament - has also moved up to 8th in the ICC ODI bowling rankings.
Earlier in the day, Danni Wyatt hit a brilliant century scoring 129 from just 125 balls along with a half century from Sophia Dunkley (60) as England posted 293-8 in their 50 overs.
England who lost their first three games of the tournament, had to win the last four games to reach the semi-final.
Speaking after the game, Alex Hartley told BBC Sport: “We didn’t think this was possible. England were down and out and had to win all their last four games. But they’ve got better and better and they were just so clinical today. It was a complete performance, their best so far. Sophie Ecclestone and Danni Wyatt have got England into the World Cup final."
Hartley who has been in this position, four years ago, when she was a part of the England team that beat India at Lords, added: “They will just be feeling sheer relief. I remember bursting into tears, because everything you have worked for has led to this moment."
England’s focus will now be on beating an Australian side who are unbeaten in the tournament. Meg Lanning’s team won all seven group games before beating the West Indies by 157 runs in the semi-final in Wellington.
The final will be at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch and is live on Sky Sports starting at 2am (GMT) on Sunday.