In South Africa's enthralling six-run semifinal win over England to reach the final of the 2023 Women's T20 World Cup on their home soil, opener Tazmin Brits played a crucial hand with bat and on the field.
Tazmin smashed 68 runs from 55 balls as she joined forces with Laura Wolvaardt in a 96-run stand for the first wicket as South Africa reached 164/4. On the field, Tazmin was spectacular in taking four catches of key England players, which ensured South Africa reached their first-ever final of the T20 World Cup across men's and women's.
"I still can't believe it to be honest with you. It feels like I'm still going to need to wake up. I don't know how the catches happened. 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 and 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 and it was my day and I'm glad I could take it," she said in the post-match press conference.
Asked about the stunning knock with the bat which fetched her Player of the Match award, Tazmin said, "I've actually felt quite positive with the tri-series. I actually scored a 50 against the West Indies and I actually had a good knock against Australia. Just needed a bit more support.
So, in my head, I was very confident." "Pakistan is a bit of a different story; I don't know what happened there but you know with Wolfe (Laura Wolvaardt) and I we knew we had to be in the power play, of course, we had to pick up and be a bit more aggressive.
So, I'm feeling good. It doesn't always come off, but I'm going to ride the wave while I still can." Friday's semifinal added another chapter to a remarkable turnaround for Tazmin, who missed out on a place competing in the javelin throw at the 2012 London Olympics after a car crash which kept her in hospital for two months.
As a youngster, she had won a gold medal in the javelin throw at the 2007 World Athletics Youth Championships. Now Tazmin, who still sports the Olympics logo on her biceps, hopes she and the Proteas can inspire the nation when they take the field at the Newlands Cricket Ground on Sunday to play against defending champions Australia in the Women's T20 World Cup final.
"Maybe I might be an inspiration to many young girls. I always try to remain a human first before I am a cricketer, so I think that maybe it just gave me the light to change my direction and help people out.
I think we are definitely inspiring the younger generation a lot of times in our country." "We have a lot of different races and cultures and all of those things. So, to actually be able to make cricket a career and to show what it's about, especially in the women's game, I definitely think this was a massive change.
I think for the first time, we as women can actually stick up our hand and we actually have the girls rooting for us."