Women's T20 World Cup: South Africa shock England in opening round

Mignon du Preez displayed nerves of steel to inspire South Africa to an upset six-wicket victory over England in a thrilling T20 World Cup clash in Perth.

In reply to England's sub-par 123/8, South Africa needed 21 off the last 13 balls to snatch victory in Sunday's match.

Du Preez was dropped on two and made the most of the chance in her 100th T20 international.

With South Africa needing seven runs off the last four balls, du Preez thumped Katherine Brunt for a six to level the scores. She scored a four next ball to secure the win with two balls to spare.

Du Preez finished unbeaten on 18 off 11 balls, with her match-winning shot sparking wild celebrations.

South Africa are ranked sixth in T20 cricket, but their win over world No.2 England has given them an excellent chance to progress past the group stage.

The result was also sweet revenge for South Africa, who lost to England in the semi-final of the 2017 one-day World Cup.

"We kind of had a monkey on our back - it's now done and dusted," du Preez said, of turning the tables on England.

"We said, this year, we want to go one step further than the semi-finals and take the World Cup trophy home."

South Africa run between wickets on their way to victory over England
South Africa run between wickets on their way to victory over England. Photo credit: Getty

England will probably have to win their remaining three group games - against Thailand, West Indies and Pakistan - to reach the semi-finals.

"It puts the pressure on, doesn't it," England batter Natalie Sciver said. "In terms of our team, a bit of pressure will hopefully see the best of us.

"Hopefully, we can go out there and play positively, and play with freedom.

"I know, the first game, you sometimes have a few nerves around. I was nervous since two days ago, watching the first game.

"Nerves can be good, but they can also be bad sometimes."

England were crawling along at 75/4 after 15 overs, before plundering 48 runs from the last five overs.

Sciver held the innings together with 50 off 41 balls, while opener Amy Jones chipped in with 23.

South Africa scored just six runs from their first 3.5 overs, but fine knocks from van Niekerk and Kapp kept them in the contest.

Du Preez then provided the finishing touch, joking that she even wanted to give the ball a blow to ensure it went over for a six.