Astoundingly, we got most of a game in – the day dawned with a sea mist that rolled in to the land all morning, and there was rain spitting much of the way through the England innings, including whilst the sun was out!
Again, Mignon won the toss and put England in, and yet again Taylor was the mainstay of the England innings, slightly less runs than yesterday and fell to a good throw when attempting a second run to push the final total on in the final overs with Wyatt.
On what seemed like a good wicket, there was a great deal for the rather small crowd to enjoy – more runs than the men’s game, sixes, catches, stumping and run outs. Shame then that the tickets only said the game was at 6pm – no mention of another game, not even in small print at the bottom! At the start the crowd was probably in the hundreds and by the rain interval possibly a couple of thousand saw SA win, but just in trying to get into the ground before the traffic jam outside swallowed them, not because they knew about or wanted to see the game.
Sure you can find the scorecard elsewhere, noteworthy parts of England’s innings were Edwards attempting an ambitious ramp shot that she is not known for, missing with everything and being bowled, SA’s Sune Luus being involved in the first three wickets (caught, bowled and c&b), Knight and Taylor putting on 83 for the 4th wicket, including Knight scoring the only 6 of England’s innings, the stand being broken by a good Kapp catch out on the cow corner boundary. The innings closed with two run outs, where Gunn and Taylor chanced their wickets in pressing the SA fielders in going for a tight second run and both being unsuccessful.
For SA, man of the match and T20 opener Dane van Niekerk kept well ahead of the run rate all the way through, using a true track well, punishing England’s bowlers for inaccuracy, especially the spinners, eventually falling to a quick piece of stumping off the bowling of Grundy for 63 (43) including 2 of SA’s 3 sixes. Both Kapp 21 (13) and skipper du Preez 47 (41) continued with the better than run a ball strike rate, keeping well ahead of the D/L par score as the clouds threatened.
Two rain breaks interrupted proceedings, a short one and then the longer one that eventually saw SA win on D/L being 17 runs ahead. The groundsmen clearly were informed and started moving the boundary rope out for the mens game, but some of the less informed in the crowd celebrated when the scoreboard confirmed our conclusions.
Other conclusions; noticeably three of England’s often most penetrative or stingy bowlers went at 9+ runs an over and even a couple of late wickets were not able to affect the result and Lee, SAs big striker of the one-day series, didn’t even get on the board.
Good for England to have a strong challenge in preparation for the World Cup, but it is worrying that England’s bowlers seemed to have so little penetration or control.
ADDENDUM – I’m seeing a bit more of the Cape Town area on my first trip to SA, rather than returning to Joburg for a televised T20, so not likely to be a match report on sunday, might do some thoughts on the game and/or trip!