It was a day to forget for South Africa at Taunton, as for the second time today they conceded the record for T20I team totals. England with 250 for 3 broke New Zealand’s record set just hours earlier. They would eventually run out winners by 121 runs.
England won the toss and decided to bat. Having seen Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine hit to all parts of the ground, Heather Knight was determined to show her players could do just as well.
Danni Wyatt was restored to the top of the England order, having spent the ODI series down at six. Wyatt continued her good form in the T20 format. From Marizanne Kapp’s first two overs she hit 4 fours to give England a great start.
Tammy Beaumont coming off two hundreds against South Africa in the ODI series made it three in a row. Beaumont is known as a slow starter there was none of that today. She reached her hundred from just 47 balls which is the second fastest.
At the halfway stage of the England innings they were 116 for 0 and were looking to accelerate. Beaumont hit four sixes in her score of 116. With the prospect of England breaking the record set by New Zealand, Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt were moved up the order to keep the runs flowing and they did just that. Brunt took 27 runs from a Stacey Lackay over, which included a four and 3 sixes.
England were never going to let this game slip from their grasp, although Jenny Gunn would drop a couple of catches. Anya Shrubsole who was earning her 50th T20I cap for England opened the bowling and her first three overs conceded just 2 runs. Two of those overs were maidens and meant that South Africa would have to go some to win.
Lizelle Lee had just scored 14 off a Danielle Hazell over before she was given out lbw trying to sweep. It effectively ended South Africa’s chances, although it felt like they had already gone. Dane van Niekerk again looked like the South African batter who was intent on taking the attack to the bowlers and she scored 72 runs from 51 balls.
Mignon du Preez tried to support with 25 but by the time she was out, the run rate was out of reach. There is no doubting that South Africa have got a lot of work to do in the field, but don’t write off van Niekerk to put things right.
England will face South Africa again on Saturday before taking on New Zealand.