South Africa on the opening day’s play got to a strong total of 284, courtesy, Marizaane Kapp’s 150. South Africa early on day 2 dominated with ball in hand, but then happened a momentum shift that South Africa took very long to come out from and in process saw England rebuild and take complete control.
English opening pair of Tammy Beaumont, Emma Lamb for England and Marizaane Kapp, Nadine de Klerk for South Africa got proceedings underway. English openers got going and were in the box seat with a 50 run opening stand. Right after drinks, Anne Bosch struck and struck big in Tammy Beaumont for 28(61) and England had lost their first for 65. Bosch was in middle of a brilliant spell and striked again, this time Emma Lamb who was batting brilliantly had to walk back for a good 69 ball 38. England having lost two in quick succession had their captain, Heather Knight and vice-captian, Nat Sciver in the middle. The duo safely negotiated to lunch with 86 on board, Heather Knight and Nat Sciver remained unbeaten on 8 each.
Post lunch, first ball, hesitation in calling for the run and a little mixup costed England the big wicket of Heather Knight. Sophia Dunkley joined Nat Sciver who wasn’t finding it easy in the middle as South African bowlers had their tails up as wickets kept tumbling and pressure kept building. Sophia Dunkely played her natural game, she started to click and take control, that also comforted Nat Sciver on the other end to settle in. A crucial 34 run partnership saw curtains with the wicket of Sophia Dunkley who chasing a wide one was out caught at first slip on 18 and it again was Anne Bosch who got South Africa a breakthrough. Amy Jones walked in and Mlaba got one to hold and deceived through the defences of Jones handing her a 6 ball duck. Out walked Alice Richards with England in deep trouble, 121-5. Alice spent some time and got used to surface, Nat Sciver on the other end got to her brilliant 50*(110), runs remained hard to come. The pair shared a 50* run stand and safely negotiated to tea, England were well staged at 176-5 with Nat Sciver and Alice Richards unbeaten on 56 and 20 respectively.
Post tea, the partnership grew bigger and better for England as the duo shared a century run stand. Alice Richards got to her brilliant 50* off 111 balls. New ball soon was available and South Africa opted for it straightaway, change of ball didn’t bring change of fourtune to South Africa as the English duo continued to frustrate them. Alice Richards had stepped up the attack, she was looking set on one end and on the other, English vice-captain, Nat Sciver got to her maiden test ton, 100*(182) and at a time when it mattered the most. England having got the lead ticking were in complete control of the Test match. Minutes before close of play, Alice Davidson-Richards got one to the fence and on debut got to her 100*(173), again what better time for this knock to have come. The 200 run stand was up between the duo, it’d come off 329 balls. Tumi having bowled well all day, bowling the last over of days play off the penultimate ball got the 207 run partnership to a close with the wicket of Alice Richards on 107 who chased a short, wide one and Lee caught the straight one to complete the wicket and that was stumps for day 2.
Another exciting day of Test match cricket, wasn’t it. From England struggling at 121-5 to a Nat Sciver – Alice Richards rebuild that now has England strongly placed at 328-6 and got them a lead by 44* runs, just was an incredible effort. This fightback from England is one for the records. South Africa, honestly didn’t do a lot wrong. Marizaane Kapp bowled brilliant spells, but didn’t get into the wickets column and the same goes with Naidne de Klerk who bowled good spells in tuff phases of the game, but the wickets column remained empty. With partnerships building, Sune Luus too tried to chip in overs, but runs was all she conceded. Anne Bosch with 3 topped the wickets chart that had Tumi and Mlaba with one each follow.