South Africa Women vs England Women – Match Preview
Three stunning half-centuries helped England beat South Africa by 17 points in a Women’s T20 World Cup warm-up match at Stellenbosch.
Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey and Nat Sciver-Brunt all hit fast 50s as England ran a mammoth 246 for seven after being sent to bat.
South Africa made a valiant attempt to hunt their dreaded target but ultimately failed as Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn and Lauren Bell claimed three wickets each.
England could hardly have gotten off to a better start after losing the draw, with fly-half Dunkley running to 50 from just 15 balls in an opening stand worth 68 in just 4.3 overs.
She was down four balls later, knocked down in fifth by Shabnim Ismail for 59 after hitting nine fours and three sixes, but the tone was set for a remarkable day at bat.
Danni Wyatt fell for 24, but Capsey, with 61 of 33 balls, and Sciver-Brunt, 51 of 25, continued Dunkley’s fireworks at the top of the command.
South Africa somewhat stemmed the rush of runs in the 17th and 18th overs, which went just 13 in total and saw Heather Knight, Amy Jones and Sophie Ecclestone dismissed in the space of four balls, but Maia Bouchier (19 on seven balls) ensured a strong finish for the tourists.
With a required 12-plus run rate, South Africa were soon in trouble as they slipped to 51 for three, with Dean firing Laura Wolvaardt and captain Sune Luus either side of Marizanne Kapp’s capture by Glenn.
However, fly-half Tazmin Brits and Chloe Tryon drove back with a third-wicket stand of 98, with Tyron smashing 65 from just 23 balls with seven sixes before being trapped by Dean (three for 46).
Fellow countryman Glenn (three for 30) then added Britain (38) and Annerie Dercksen (0) to his run in 13th as South Africa’s challenge faded again.
Nadine de Klerk continued to fight for the hosts, hitting an unbeaten 50 from 27 balls, but Bell (three for 31) made sure there was no late twist in history by claiming three wickets in the last four overs.
“Aggressive and positive”
Dunkley said: “It was a great win today. I think we all went in there very aggressively and positively, great to get the win in what was supposed to be a close game and it felt good to go out there.
“I obviously think there are some great bowlers in the opposition, but I think I’m making a very strong effort to try to be really fierce and brave and take on some of the best bowlers in the world, which I hope to do all throughout the competition.
“I thought it was great to see Capsey back from injury, but she looked back at her best, smashing the ball on the ropes which was great to see, and also Nat too, we know how much she’s good but great to see she started really fast and really took the game to South Africa today.”
Watch England’s T20 World Cup campaign live on Sky Sports Cricket. The team’s opener, against the West Indies, is live from 12:30 p.m. (1 p.m. first ball) on Saturday.