England skipper Knight almost to nervous to watch latter stages of World Cup semi-final win

Heather Knight (right) - England
Heather Knight (right) - England's winning captain

ENGLAND captain Heather Knight could almost not watch as her side reached the Women's World Cup final with a dramatic victory over South Africa.

Anya Shrubsole hit the winning boundary with just two balls to spare, securing a two-wicket victory after England had been set a target of 219 at Bristol.

England will face either Australia or India in the final at Lord's on Sunday.

Knight, whose cricket journey started with Plymstock and Devon, said on Sky Sports: "It was hard watching those last 10 overs from the balcony, but we are just absolutely delighted. We keep finding a way to win in this competition.

"Jenny Gunn had nerves of steel at the end. We put on a show for the crowd, and I would like to say we kept it that close to keep it interesting, but we didn't.

"Those close games are the best to win, but the worst to lose. Credit to South Africa, they bowled brilliantly on what was a very tired wicket. What a game of cricket."

Laura Wolvaardt (66) and an unbeaten 76 from Mignon du Preez had earlier given South Africa hope of a shock victory.

But Sarah Taylor set England on their way with 54 before Jenny Gunn (27 not out) and Shrubsole (four not out) dragged their team over the line.

Knight said: "I am not the best watcher, so I was pretty nervous, but I trusted the girls out there and knew they could do their job and if we took it to the last few overs with not too many (runs to get), I knew we stood a good chance."

England had lost their opening match of the tournament, but went on to top the qualifying group and now stand just one more win from lifting the trophy.

"The biggest prize was always going to be that final at Lord's, but it is something we have really enjoyed, putting on shows for the crowds, and with that tight game, what a spectacle it was," Knight added.

"It is great people are watching and coming to see us."

South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk paid tribute to the efforts of her side.

She said: "We thought we were 30 (runs) short, but my team went out there believing. I am so proud of them and the way they went about it.

"I saw the score on the board and said it was going to be close, that anything can happen, but well done to Heather and her team.

"It was a great game of cricket and I hope the fans enjoyed it."