England (13/8 Tournament Outright) captain Eoin Morgan insisted that Saturday’s 10-run defeat to South Africa has not dented England’s confidence as they guaranteed top spot in Group 1 at the T20 World Cup.

In contrast, the Proteas are heading home as, despite the victory, it proved not to be enough after earlier in the day, Australia secured a comfortable eight-wicket win over West Indies.

England welcomed Mark Wood back into their attack but the Durham-man failed to make an impact, finishing with 0-47 in Sharjah.

Spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid took England’s sole wickets, Ali bowling Reeza Hendricks for just two, but Quinton de Kock (32) and Aiden Markram (52) provided ample support for player of the match Rassie van der Dussen.

Van der Dussen’s 94 off 60 balls helped South Africa post 189/2 and England’s reply was hit hard when Jason Roy was forced to retire hurt on 20 after pulling up while running between the stumps.

In fact, arguably the highlight of the 50-over world champions’ innings was a hat-trick from Kagiso Rabada in the final over, the paceman having Chris Woakes, Morgan and Chris Jordan all caught in the deep.

However, South Africa’s failure to limit England to 131 cost them a place in the semi-finals.

Despite the result, Morgan remained philosophical on both the outcome and the injury to Roy, insisting that belief remained high in the England camp as they head into the last four.

“We do have talent coming in, so that gives us confidence,” he said at the post-match presentation. “We’ve built a core group of white-ball players, so we’ll have to delve into that.

“Very happy, topping the group, we know how hard it is to get through. Finals are all about going and expressing yourselves, enjoying them, so we’re going to do that.”

One consolation the Three Lions will take is that each of the previous winners of this trophy have lost a game on their way to glory.

The day’s early match saw 2010 runners-up Australia (3/1 Tournament Outright) hand out an eight-wicket thrashing of the already-eliminated West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

Set 158 to win by the defending champions, David Warner smashed an unbeaten 89 off 56 balls, while Mitchell Marsh also contributed with 53 as the Aussies cruised to their target with 22 deliveries to spare.

Josh Hazelwood had set his team up with the ball, taking 4-39 but the most significant wicket arguably came from Pat Cummins, who dismissed Chris Gayle for 15, in what could prove to be the 42-year-old’s final international appearance.

Speaking afterwards, skipper Aaron Finch praised his players for keeping their cool, while also reserving special praise for his match-winner.

Finch said: “We held our nerve. Warner is a super player and has been for a long time. A lot of people doubted him and I can’t understand why.”

Both teams will now wait to see who they play in the last four, with Pakistan already having qualified from Group 2 and New Zealand the favourites to join them ahead of India.

The Kiwis can confirm their place by beating Afghanistan on Sunday (Match Betting – New Zealand 4/11, Afghanistan 2/1), while Pakistan play later in the day against Scotland.

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