Taunton Test ends in stalemate as persistent drizzle wipes out most of Day 4

Taunton Test © Getty Images

Persistent drizzle on the last day (Day four) of the Taunton Test deprived cricket fans of an intriguing arm-wrestle between the hosts England and South Africa as the one-off Test ultimately ended in a draw on Thursday, June 30.

Trailing behind by 78 runs overnight, South Africa needed Skipper Suné Luus to occupy the crease for a longer duration on final day. But Luus came with a very defensive mindset and that ultimately resulted in her doing.

Kate Cross, who is predominantly known to take the ball away from the right-handers got one to jag back into Luus, who got undone by the prodigious lateral movement and was struck flush on her front pad. Umpire Anna Harris had no hesitation in raising her finger and Luus despite having a word with Tumi Sekhukhune decided not to use a review. The replay showed that the ball would have shaved her leg stump.

Despite losing her skipper, Sekhukhune continued to bat with aplomb and most importantly didn’t try to do anything fancy. She shouldered arms to anything that was outside off and that helped her fend off the persistent attack from the English bowlers.

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In contrast to Sekhukhune, Lizelle Lee, who replaced Luus in the middle didn’t shy away from throwing her hands at anything that was either wide or in her arc. She hit Issy Wong for two consecutive boundaries in the 44th over and was looking to fight fire with fire.

But before the hosts could rue the missed opportunity (on the last ball of the 42nd over) when wicket-keeper Amy Jones dropped Lee, she (herself) threw it away. With mid-off in the circle, Ecclestone tossed one up outside off-stump and invited Lee to go over the in-field, Lee fell for the bait and ended up hitting it straight up in the air and Kate Cross settled underneath it to put an end to her innings.

Lee’s dismissal reduced the visitors to 118/5 and gave England the belief that they were in with a real chance despite the rain interruptions. But Marizanne Kapp had other ideas. She arrived at the crease and continued to haunt the England bowlers by playing some exquisite strokes.

While rain continued to play hide & seek at Taunton and gave a bit of respite in between for the action to resume (at regular intervals), Kapp (43* runs off 58 balls) was as unrelenting as one could possibly be as she took the England bowlers to the cleaners. Ultimately the rain started pelting down very heavily and after hours of delay the match officials concluded that no more play was possible.

Brief scores: South Africa 284 all out (Marizanne Kapp 150; Kate Cross 4/63) and 181/5 (Marizanne Kapp 43*; Issy Wong 2/46) drew with England 417/8 (Nat Sciver 169*, Anneke Bosch 3/77) POTM: Nat Sciver