12/2/16 SA v Eng ODI2 Centurion

Apologies for late match report, we had some England parents back for a braai (BBQ) and watch the other England game….

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Taylor’s 100th cap was presented well before the start, before the warm-up, which was therefore observed by few, but England had invited ex-England skipper and now-local Karen Smithies, very Australian….

That said there was then some comment about the decision at the toss, Edwards won it, but given the way the pitch performed, with a number of early balls both failing o carry to Chetty and startling the England batsmen to let go of the bat handle – the locals seemed to suggest it was a bat second pitch…

England lost both openers early, Winfield playing and missing a number of balls in the over before finally feathering one through to Chetty. Taylor was clean bowled (should be a good pic on http://www.womenscricket.net at some point) a real shame in her 100th ODI. Edwards and Knight then convened to settle the innings and get it going again with England’s best stand at 78 runs.

Edwards fell to a athletic and prescient catch by a highly strapped Luus diving full length to her right across in front of the umpire, off a leading edge as the skipper tried to turn the ball to the leg-side as she was trying to accelerate the scoring rate.

Knight was the only England 50 (71 of 76 balls) caught in the deep by man of the match Lizette Lee. Greenway tried a number of genuine reverse sweeps and flips, falling to the same legspinner Van Niekerk.

Wyatt and Brunt both came in and started to push the accelerator, the last 15 overs (inc the powerplay) went for 109 runs and 4 wickets, the previous 35 overs therefore 147-4. Wyatt in particular took her chance, having been in and out of both ODI and T20 sides at various batting positions in the last few years – 40 including 6 boundaries and a 6!

To have Hazell in at number 11 showed the depth of England’s line up, the last two putting on 41 – many of scoring only in 1’s and 4’s as the outfield was small and quick.

 

South Africa put on a fantastic 100+ stand, first time for a while for them apparently, with 16yo Wolvaardt making her debut 50 in only her second ODI. Unfortunately, fast bowler Brunt was forced to leave the field, much to her frustration, at the end of the 9th over, looking like she had back issues which were due, we found out later, to a back spasm.

Knight finally made a breakthrough in the 28th over: Wolvaardt c Sub (Cross) b Knight 55

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And then Hazell, holding a very tight press box end, took two in two balls, picking up Chetty and Kapp in the 33rd over.DSCF1165 - Chetty c shrubsole b hazell

Chetty c Shrubsole b Hazell 66DSCF1172 - du preez lbw hazell 9 Copy

next ball – Du Preez lbw Hazell 9 (134-3)

Almost all of the way thougth SA seemed to be well behind the run rate, but they had a good platform, wickets in hand, plus the powerful middle order hitter Lee, who proceeded to hit 12 boundaries, getting to 50 in 44 balls.

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Lizelle Lee – man of the match – one of three SA 50’s the only one to raise her bat well.

The scoreboard did prominently display the run rate required (reached the heights of 9.2) and the D/L par score and with England missing one of their strike bowlers, proceeded to accelerate from the start of the powerplay (147-3).

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Kapp c Greenway b Knight 44

England managed to pick up a late wicket, but it became just a torturous wait for the rain or the batsmen to put the England fans out of their misery.

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The SA team were waiting to run on and celebrate, even in the rain! First victory over England since 2004. My over-riding thought was that they just wanted it more, and that enabled them to manage to overcome the England total, where their experience and skill did not enable to overcome the difficulties of the pitch and batting first.

Both SA v England ODI series are therefore in the balance and will be decided on sunday, as we yet again are likely to get the men’s second hand pitch, whilst the chaps move on to Newlands. Whether this means that the followers in the UK again have trouble keeping up with the game, or the local TV audience get a bit more exposure to the Women’s game, we will find out…

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