The final day’s play got underway with South Africa not getting into a shell, rather playing positive cricket. The opening session saw good cricket from both sides and then came the first rain interruption that forced early lunch. After a long delay play resumed, it was a little of 10 overs that saw South Africa stretch their lead to 48 and the second rain interruption forced early tea. Play wasn’t possible post tea due to rain and the Test was drawn.
Day 4, South African pair of Sune Luus and Tumi unbeaten on 4 and 1 made their way to the middle. Nat Sciver and Issabelle Wong got proceedings underway for England. It was a quite start from the South Africans and the first big roar did come from the English camp as Kate Cross early in her opening spell dismissed Sune Luus on 10(43). Lizelle Lee made her way to the middle and straightaway got going, batting on 13(24) she was given a life with Amy Jones making a rare drop and Isabelle Wong was denied a wicket in middle of a brilliant opening spell. Lee never took her hands of the accelerator and South Africa moved past 100. Ecclestone bowled a wicket-maiden where she bagged the wicket of dangerous looking, Lee on 36(51) and South Africa’s crucial partnership of 54 runs saw curtains. Marizaane Kapp joined Tumi who on the other end was just blocking and running a required single. Kapp too started off aggressively and South Africa didn’t take their hand off the accelerator that Lee pressed to clear South Africa’s intent and were soon past the trail and got the lead ticking. Rain forced early lunch, Marizaane Kapp and Tumi walked back unbeaten on 17(23) and 19(105) respectively, with South Africa 140-5.
After a long delay, play resumed. South Africa continued their positive intent taking on the English attack. Marizaane Kapp on a good run continued to bat well and Tumi too now got going a bit with a couple boundary shots. The duo stitched a 50* run stand. After nearly 10 overs of play, there again came a rain interruption and forced early tea. Marizaane Kapp and Tumi walked back unbeaten on 43(58) and 33(134) respectively, South Africa were 181-5 with a 48 run lead. The partnership was worth 63* off 115. For England, it was Kate Cross and Isabelle Wong who with couple each topped the wickets chart that had Sophie Ecclestone follow with her 1.
It was a long and a frustrating wait for the final session to get underway, but there only came an upset with umpires informing no more play was possible due to rain. A women’s Test after 148 days for sure didn’t deserve this, but a sad reality with no 5th day or atleast a reserve day forcing another draw to a women’s Test.
If the rain interruptions are to be kept aside, it’s been a good Test match this. For South Africa to be back after 9 long years, not get their best XI due to injuries, but to still have challenged and troubled the English batting lineup was just work well done, South Africa. The young English attack weren’t much of a disappointment, but the batting from both sides was a let down as it only was a few individuals saving the Test for their teams. Inexperience surely a factor there, but more of red ball games and a reserve or a 5th day introduction is now a must as these close draws deserve a winner.