Anya Shrubsole continued her recent excellent form in the World Cup as England blew away South Africa by seven wickets in their must win Super-Sixes encounter in Cuttack.
Shrubsole has been one of England's leading lights in India and she ran through South Africa's top order en route to career-best one-day figures of 5-17 as Mignon du Preez's side were skittled for a paltry 77 in 29.3 overs.
While England fell to 26-3 in reply, any hopes of a collapse similar to the one they suffered in their agonising two-run defeat against Australia were banished by Lydia Greenway (25 not out) and Arran Brindle (28 not out) guiding them to their total in the 10th over.
The defending champions knew they had to win on Sunday and against New Zealand in their final match to stand any chance of reaching the final.
And they started in positive fashion against South Africa after captain Charlotte Edwards had won the toss and opted to field first.
Shrubsole, who claimed 4-21 against West Indies and 3-24 against Australia, once again came to the fore by having opener Yolandi Potgieter and Du Preez trapped in front in the second over.
Trisha Chetty clipped the seamer to short midwicket and Cri-zelda Brits was given out leg before wicket as South Africa fell to 18-4.
Marizanna Kapp and Shandre Fritz attempted to steady the ship, but Shrubsole was not finished and bowled the former for 13 before Fritz (10) fell to Holly Colvin.
Chloe Tryon was adjudged lbw to give Katherine Brunt her first wicket, while the introduction of Danielle Wyatt paid dividends as the off-spinner took three wickets in her nine balls to wrap up the tail.
England's batters were looking to make amends after their collective failure against Australia on Friday and openers Edwards and Wyatt put on 23 for the first wicket before the third over.
Three wickets then fell for three runs to put the pressure on England's shoulders.
But Greenway and Brindle rose to the occasion and kept the runs flowing to ease England to their target in just 9.3 overs.