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A day South Africans will remember and cherish for their nation to be back in whites after a long gap of 9 years and to not make it look like one was a very special effort. England got early wickets, but the expected happened with ever reliable, Marizanne Kapp in the middle displayed a very special Test knock and nearing to end of play England got South Africa all out and that was stumps for day 1’s play.

Tammy Beaumont, Emma Lamb, Heather Knight (C), Natalie Sciver, Sophia Dunkley, Amy Jones (WK), Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Lauren Bell, Isabelle Wong.

Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Lara Goodall, Sune Luus (C), Lizelle Lee, Marizaane Kapp, Anne Bosch, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta (WK), Tumi Sekhukhune, Nonkululeko Malaba.

England having won the toss opt to bowl and made the most of it. Kate Cross and Lauren Bell got proceedings underway for England, South Africa were off the mark with a couple off Andrie Steyn’s bat, a couple boundaries did count to South Africa’s total before Kate Cross bowling her third over striked as Andie Steyn shouldered arm and saw her off stump rattled on 8(21) and South Africa were 1 down for 14. Lara Goodall and Laura Wolvaardt got going, Heather Knight introduced Isabella Wong who in her second over, deceived one through Laura’s shot, was an absolute peach to pick up the big wicket of Laura Wolvaardt on 16 and South Africa lost their 2nd with 38 on board. Changes were doing the world of good for Knight and England as Nat Sciver in her 3rd over picked up another big wicket in Lara Goodall on 10(38), before reintroduction of Lauren Bell got England the wicket of Lizelle Lee on a 8 ball duck, quick wickets saw South Africa 4 down with 45 on board. The experienced pair of, Marizanne Kapp and skipper, Luus assured a wicket more doesn’t fall and safely guided South Africa to lunch remaining unbeaten on 14(28) and 26(53) respectively with South Africa 83-4.

Kate Cross bowling her first post lunch created immediate impact as dangerous looking, Sune Luus had to depart for a fine 27(58) courtesy, Nat Sciver at slips diving low and left grabbed ab absolute stunner. Anne Bosch played brilliant alongside Marizaane Kapp and a crucial 50 run stand got South Africa back in the contest. Marizanne Kapp soon got to her fine 50*off 80 balls. Sophie Ecclestone cannot be kept away for long, in her 7th over she broke the partnership and got Anne Bosch to walk back on 30(58) and South Africa after good repair work were 161-6. Marizaane Kapp and Nadine de Klerk safely negotiated to tea remaining unbeaten on 83(130) and 6(28) respectively with South Africa, 192-6.

Immediate impact post a break was again seen from England and this time Alice Richards struck as she dismissed Nadine de Klark for 9. Kepper-batter, Sinalo Jafta was given out first ball, but a successful review had the decision overturned and Kapp’s brilliance on the other end saw her celebrate a century, a brilliant Test knock 100*(151). Marizaane Kapp knowing the fact she was batting with the tail, didn’t miss out on any scoring opportunities and was looking to accelerate. Kate Cross had her third in Sinalo Jafta who she dismissed on 4(39) courtesy, Wong hung onto a one-handed screamed she’d plucked off the air. Tumi hung in for a short while and managed a couple boundaries, but the real story was Marizaane Kapp who now got to her super impressive 150*(212) and sadly there wasn’t more as Lauren Bell bagged the big wicket of Kapp courtesy, Tammy Beaumont took a fantastic grab at mid-off and Marizaane Kapp’s super impressive knock of 150 off 213 balls saw curtains with South Africa strongly placed on 276. 10 more runs were added before Kate Cross bagged her 4th in Mlaba who walked back for 8. South Africa were bowled out for 284 and for England, Kate Cross with her 4 lead the wickets charts that had Lauren Bell with her couple, Isabelle Wong, Nat Sciver, Sophie Ecclestone and Alice Richards with one each follow in the wickets column.

Marizaane Kapp’s 150(213) is one of the purest knocks of Test match cricket and has her team guided to a strong total of 284.
Kate Cross leading the English pace attack in absence of veteran greats emerged as a treat.

South Africa finished on a strong 284, battled their way out of early trouble and the key of it all really was Marizaane Kapp who produced a pure Test knock and not to forget the valuable support in short periods she got from the lower middle order and the tail, job very well done South Africa. The inexperience from the English pacers didn’t go unnoticed and is the only reason they find themselves facing a 1st innings total of 284, despite having South Africa 89-5 at a stage or 161-6 or 202-7, but to see 284 ahead of South Africa’s name should be pinching England today. England missed a trick in letting Marizaane Kapp go about her business and never really tried to bowl a long patch at her. It’s game on day 2, South Africa will be in and with force like they’ve shown with bat in hand.

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