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We can be proud of ourselves: Du Preez

England Women pacer Anya Shrubsole feels Australia Women, the defending champion, will start as the favourite in Sunday’s final
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South Africa Women's dream run at the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014 came to a grinding halt as it went down by nine wickets to England Women in the second semi-final at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Friday (April 4). It was a tame end to a campaign that showed a lot of spark, particularly after its win against New Zealand to qualify for the semi-finals.
 
Mignon du Preez, the captain, chose to draw positives from the experience in Bangladesh instead of nitpicking. "We were definitely the underdogs and considering that, we’ve done exceptionally well," she said. "We showed a lot of character, so I’m really proud of this team. We proved teams from the lower order are definitely coming up the ranks. To make it to the top four of this tournament has given us a lot of confidence and hopefully this will open a lot of doors and is a start of something big in women’s cricket back home."
 
South Africa, perhaps, exceeded its own expectations in getting this far. The side finished last in the group in the 2012 edition and managed to qualify for the 2014 tournament on the back of a win in the qualifiers against Pakistan.
 
But du Preez believed there was no reason for her vanquished team to feel ashamed. "We can draw a lot of inspiration from West Indies," she said. "They have come a long way over the past two years. The spirit with which they play their cricket, the fact that they play without the fear of failure is something we can emulate too. We have also now adopted their motto of 'moving in faith'. On the whole, we can be proud of ourselves. It was amazing just to be a part of this tournament and to play in front of a television audience was special for us."
 
As a disappointed du Preez walked out of the press conference area, an elated Anya Shrubsole, the England medium pacer, settled into her chair with a smile plastered on her face. Her twin strikes upfront triggered South Africa’s slide as it eventually ended with a paltry 101. Shrubsole, the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 12 scalps in five matches, has conceded less than four runs an over in each of her five matches in the tournament and has a jaw-dropping average of 5.75.
 
"I think the ball has swung more here due to the humidity," explained Shrubsole when asked about the two identical dismissals, where the ball swung back prodigiously to get past the batter's defence. "But I guess keeping it simple is what I was trying to do. On slow wickets such as these, it’s important to be more accurate than experiment. I tried to bowl outswingers early on in my career, but then realised it’s best to do what comes naturally to you. So, from there on, I’ve just concentrated on bringing the ball back in and it’s worked."
 
On Sunday now, the old England-Australia rivalry will be revived as the two teams face off in the final. "I’d say they go in as favourites especially as they are defending champions as well," said Shrubsole. "Both of us are evenly matched, we’ve played a hell of a lot of cricket against each other, and we know each other inside out. There are no questions of surprises, just a matter of which team turns up on the day and plays better."

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1 June - 18 June 2017

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ODI
Final, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
Pakistan won by 180 runs
Pakistan
338/4
India
158
Match Centre
ODI
Semi Final 2, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
India won by 9 wickets
Bangladesh
264/7
India
265/1
Match Centre
ODI
Semi Final 1, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Pakistan won by 8 wickets
England
211
Pakistan
215/2
Match Centre
ODI
Match 12, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Sri Lanka
236
Pakistan
237/7
Match Centre
ODI
Match 11, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
India won by 8 wickets
India
193/2
South Africa
191
Match Centre
ODI
Match 10, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
England won by 40 runs (DLS Method)
England
240/4
Australia
277/9
Match Centre
ODI
Match 9, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets
New Zealand
265/8
Bangladesh
268/5
Match Centre
ODI
Match 8, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | The Oval, London
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets
India
321/6
Sri Lanka
322/3
Match Centre
ODI
Match 7, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Edgbaston, Birmingham
Pakistan won by 19 runs (DLS Method)
Pakistan
119/3
South Africa
219/8
Match Centre
ODI
Match 6, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff
England won by 87 runs
England
310
New Zealand
223
Match Centre

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2
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