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23 February 2020

Watch Mignon du Preez celebrate 100th T20I in style as South Africa edge England in nail-biter at World Cup

South Africa have beaten England at the T20 World Cup for the first time as Mignon du Preez steered them to a six-wicket victory with two balls to spare on her landmark 100th T20 International.

In a rollercoaster of a game, the win predictor swung backwards and forwards between the two teams but it was ultimately a sub-par batting performance that left the 2009 Champions wanting.

Nat Sciver was the only English batter to find any real rhythm with the bat, reaching a half century from 40 balls to help her side towards limp to 123-8 from their 20 overs and leave their bowlers with a mountain to climb.

Amy Jones made a start reaching 23 within the first four overs, but holed out to Chloe Tyron at mid-off and had barely reached the dugout before she was joined by fellow opener Dani Wyatt.

England were relieved to have Sciver fully fit and back in the side but with wickets tumbling around her and only two of her team-mates reaching double figures, her efforts were in vain.

Other batting questions arose for new head coach Lisa Keightley, with debates rife over the batting number of 2017 ODI World Cup player of the tournament, Tammy Beaumont, who did not make an appearance until number seven.

The English bowlers came out fired up and the quick dismissal of South African danger woman Lizelle Lee was the first ingredient in what needed to be a gritty fightback.

But the South African batters dug in and a hefty 48 from Dan van Niekerk backed up by Marianne Kapp's 38 edged them closer to victory.

When both women fell within five balls of each other, followed by Chloe Tyron, South Africa found themselves needing nine from the last over.

Without hesitation, England veteran Katherine Brunt took the ball for the last over with barely a word to captain Heather Knight but the seasoned bowler was matched by du Preez who launched Brunt for six.

As the scores drew level, murmers of a Super Over reverberated around the WACA.

But this was a story du Preez wanted to finish on her own terms, securing the win with a boundary.

A visibly disgruntled Brunt smashed the stumps in annoyance while the jubilant South African players flooded onto the pitch.

This is the first time South Africa have beaten England in the T20 World Cup and adds another twist in the tale of the tournament after India's historic win over defending Champions Australia in the opening game.

England must now regroup ahead of their next game against Thailand in Canberra on Wednesday.

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