Catches win matches: SA hero Tazmin Brits talks brilliant fielding and fears over broken bones
Faced with a target of 165 on the ground where they had smashed a record 213 just days earlier, England were rollicking along at 53 without loss inside the Powerplay when Tazmin Brits produced a moment of absolute brilliance to turn the tide.
Leaping low to her right, Brits extended out a hand and clung on to one of the best catches of the tournament to send Sophia Dunkley packing.
And her stunning effort brought Newlands to life, boosted her team on the field, and proved to be the start of an individual fielding display that effectively won the game.
Brits went on to take three further catches, removing Alice Capsey, Danni Wyatt and Nat Sciver-Brunt to put South Africa on top, with the Proteas going on to win by six runs.
But it was that first catch that set the tone and was a piece of brilliance that will be replayed over and over for years to come.
And Brits will be one of those watching it back, with her memory of the moment being a little hazy.
“I was actually hoping you were going to tell me what happened with the catching,” Brits said when asked to talk through her brilliant grab in the media conference after the game.
“My legs were so tired after the batting, I just reacted and it stuck.
“Once they started moving me everywhere, the ball kept following me. At a stage they actually said 'we should maybe throw you the ball to bowl'… and I don’t bowl at all!
“The catches came and they stuck. Today was my day. I still can’t believe it to be honest, it feels like I’m still going to wake up in a sense."
Brits was taken from the field after that first catch to receive medical treatment, with concerns that she may have broken a bone on impact.
But there was no break and Brits revealed that she insisted to come back on at the earliest possible opportunity.
“When I dived, I thought it was a vein that popped, it stood out. But they pushed it down. We weren’t sure if it was a bone or not.
“I said to Mo our physio, please let me go back on the field. The doctor and him just made sure there were no bones broken.”
Brilliant fielding wasn’t Brits' only contribution, with her classy 68 at the top of the order helping South Africa to what proved to be a winning score.
The half-century was her second in as many matches after a slow start to the tournament, but the batter says she was feeling good even before the runs started to flow.
“I’ve actually felt quite positive. With the tri-series I scored a 50 with West Indies and I had a good knock against Australia, so in my head I was very confident.
“Wolvy (Laura Wolvaardt) and I, we knew we had to pick up and be a bit more aggressive. I’m feeling good – it doesn’t always come off but I’m going to ride the wave while I still can.”
From 2020 #T20WorldCup semi-final heartbreak to booking their spot in the 2023 final.— ICC (@ICC) February 24, 2023
South Africa have come a long way 👏 pic.twitter.com/QW6s5EzISL
If Brits and her teammates are going to ride that wave all the way to World Cup glory, then it will mean victory over the defending champions Australia in Sunday’s final.
The Aussies are ranked number one in the world and are going for a third straight Women’s T20 World Cup title, but Brits says the team are clicking into gear at just the right time.
“I think today we almost basically clicked. The batting was a lot better, the bowling maybe the Powerplay could have been a bit better, but I’m hoping everything clicks against Australia.
“I think we’ve always believed that we can do it.”