A brilliant century from Emma Lamb and an all-round performance from Nat Sciver propelled England to a five-wicket victory over South Africa in the first ODI of the three-match series at Northampton on Monday. With this, England took a 1-0 lead in the series. As first batter, South Africa was bundled for 218 in 47.4 overs. Chloe Tryon (88) and Laura Wolvaardt (43) were the top two batters for South Africa. Nat Sciver destroyed the South African batter with her average pace and took 4/59.
England’s chase of 219 was largely driven by Lamb (102) and Nat Sciver (55). The hosts chased the total in just 32.1 overs. Nadine de Klerk was the bowlers’ choice for the visitors with her 2/44.
As first batter, South Africa got off to a shaky start when they lost Andrie Steyn 14 after being trapped leg-for-wicket by Katherine Brunt. Brunt cleared Lara Goodall for five next with captain Heather Knight taking a good catch on the slip, dropping the visitors to 2/34.
Captain Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt tried to rebuild things for SA, but Luus was sent off for 7 by spinner Sophie Ecclestone after her stumps shrank, reducing the side to 3/52. Marizanne Kapp also fell to Sciver for 12 after a brilliant catch by Kate Cross midway through.
After this fourth wicket at 73, Wolvaardt and Tryon tied for a short 35-run tie, which ended with the first bowled clean by spinner Charlie Dean for a well-made 43 out of 72. Half of the South African side were back in the cabin for 108.
Tryon and Nadine de Klerk prevented the visitors from sinking further and formed a score of 97 points. They let the hosts struggle for a while to get wickets. Tryon reached his half-century and continued to pile up runs, but she lost her wicket to Sciver after giving a catch to Cross at deep-midwicket.
The remaining batters were unable to give Klerk the support she needed. She was the last batter to fall for 38 on 218 runs.
Sciver (4/59) and Katherine Brunt (3/18) were leading bowlers for England. Ecclestone and Dean each got a wicket.
England chased 219 and lost Tammy Beaumont for one run after Kapp lured her to ride and dropped her stumps.
A 78-run tie between Lamb and Sophia Dunkley followed. It ended with Klerk catching Dunkley leg-before-wicket for 22. England was at 86/2.
Sciver and Lamb put the hosts out of the game with another massive partnership, racking up 89 runs together. Sciver completed her fifty and continued her dominance in the competition. Sciver lost her wicket after scoring 55, taking England to 175 runs. 44 runs remained to be scored with about half of the inning to go.
Lamb reached her century, falling for 102 runs on the score of 202 to Tumi Sekhukhune.
Captain Heather Knight (20) and Danii Wyatt (14*) took the team to the finish line with 17 left to go. England won the match by five wickets and Lamb’s brilliant barrel earned her the ‘Player of the Match’ title.
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