South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first in the semi-final.
Anya Shrubsole struck early, dismissing the in-form Lizelle Lee for 7
Sarah Taylor affected a spectacular stumping down leg off Natalie Sciver to get rid of Trisha Chetty, as South Africa slid to 48 for 2 in the twelfth over.
Laura Wolvaardt got things back under control stitching a crucial 77-run partnership for the third wicket with Mignon du Preez
England, however got things back under control picking up the wickets of Laura Woolvardt and Marizanne Kapp in quick succession to wrest the momentum
Mignon du Preez ended the innings with a flourish scoring a 95-ball 76 to guide South Africa to 218 for 6 at the end of its 50 overs
Tammy Beaumont (15) and Lauren Winfield (20) started off the chase steadily, before Ayabonga Khaka accounted for both the batters with the score on 62
Sarah Taylor (54) scored an excellent half-century to keep the scoreboard ticking and took her team closer to the target
South Africa struck back with quick strikes, leaving England at a precarious 145 for 5, which soon became 173 for 6 with the wicket of Katherine Brunt.
In a game that went down to the wire, with two needed of the last three balls, Anya Shrubsole walked in and smashed a boundary, taking the host to the finals of the Women's World 2017