Chasing a modest 124, South Africa appeared in control at 90 for 1 in the 16th over before the match turned with the wickets of captain Dane Van Niekerk (46) and Marizanne Kapp (38) in quick succession.
Needing nine runs off the final over, Mignon du Preez was the hero with a six off the fourth last ball from Katherine Brunt before then hitting the winning runs with a boundary.
It capped an impressive performance from South Africa after Van Niekerk’s decision to bowl was vindicated when her accurate attack restricted England to 123 for eight off their 20 overs.
England were shackled by disciplined bowling until Natalie Sciver (50) upped the ante in the backend of the innings, but their total ultimately proved not enough. (AFP)