Pakistan, England face World Cup exit as Bangladesh make history
Defending champions England were on the brink of Women's Cricket World Cup elimination Monday while Pakistan's campaign imploded after Bangladesh made history with their first-ever win at the one-day showcase.
England suffered their third straight defeat of the tournament in New Zealand when South Africa held on for a nail-biting three-wicket win in Mount Maunganui.
England captain Heather Knight said she was "gutted" after another agonising loss, admitting the odds were firmly against the 2017 champions making the playoffs.
"It's not through lack of effort, I guess we shot ourselves in the foot at times in the field," she said.
"We're going to have to turn things around and keep believing there's a small chance we can go through."
South Africa have emerged as the tournament dark horses with three successive victories and are second only to Australia in the standings.
Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones scored half centuries for England but South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp took five for 45 to limit them to 235-9.
Laura Wolvaardt's 77 set up South Africa to chase down the target with a thrilling four balls to spare.
Pakistan remain bottom of the standings with four losses and almost certainly out after a spectacular late collapse against tournament newcomers Bangladesh in Hamilton.
Pakistan appeared to be cruising to victory, powered by a maiden century for Sidra Ameen, but slumped to a nine-run defeat after losing six wickets for 26 runs.
"It's very hard to digest, we were in the game but some poor shots from the middle order cost us the game," captain Bismah Maroof said.
- 'This is history' -
Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana praised her side's never-say-die approach.
"I cannot describe this in words because it's our first-ever win in a World Cup and this is history that we've made today here," she said.
"We're looking forward to carrying this momentum through the tournament."
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl but the strategy backfired after Fargana Hoque inspired Bangladesh to 234-7, their highest one-day international total.
Hoque made 71, forging a 96-run partnership with Sultana, who finished on 46, while Sharmin Akhter contributed a well-hit 44.
Nashra Sandhu was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 3-41, including two wickets in successive balls, one of which dismissed the dangerous Hoque.
Pakistan openers Ameen and Nahida Khan set about chasing the 235-run target with gusto, producing a 91-run partnership which ended when Khan was bowled by Rumana Ahmed.
Ameen ploughed on and seemingly had Pakistan on the brink of victory at 183-2 in the 42nd over, needing 52 runs from 48 balls with eight wickets in hand.
But disaster struck as the batters threw away their wickets, with three departing for first-ball ducks as spinner Fahima Khatun produced a mesmerising spell on her tournament debut to claim 3-38.
Any glimmer of hope for a Pakistan win ended when Ameen was run out for 104 in the 48th over.
Flick: "Sicher" keine zehn Jahre mehr als Bun...
Bundestrainer Hansi Flick kann sich bei der Nationalmannschaft keine ähnlich lange Amtszeit wie Vorgänger Joachim Löw vorstellen....
Rad-WM: Mitfavorit van der Poel vor Straßenre...
Der niederländische Radsport-Star Mathieu van der Poel ist vor dem WM-Straßenrennen in Australien vorübergehend festgenommen worde...
"Einzigartig": Gündogan schwärmt von Haaland
Fußball-Nationalspieler Ilkay Gündogan schwärmt von seinem neuen Teamkollegen Erling Haaland. Der Norweger habe "eine unglaubliche...