The top order gave the South Africa Emerging Women a strong start to successfully chase the target set by the England under-19 women in the first T20 of the three-match series in Potchefstroom on Friday. South Africa beat the visitors by a convincing seven wickets to go 1-0 up in their first ever home series.
England won the toss and chose to bat first, losing Georgia Adams in the third over after she was bowled by Elriesa Thuenissen for five. Georgia Hennessy followed at the start of the sixth over when she was trapped lbw without scoring, thanks to some nifty bowling by Lara Goodall. England would have been dismissed cheaply, had it not been for the contributions made by opener Jessica Watson (33) and Sophie Luff (59*). Izzy Collins was the third highest run scorer with nine before she was run out by Goodall and Stephanie Butler could only manage a single before she was caught behind by Zizipho Mdebuka to give Yolani Fourie her second wicket.
England managed a respectable 119/5 at the end of their innings.
In their reply, South Africa got off to a solid start thanks to the 53-run opening stand between Mdebuka and Fourie (49). Fi Morris was the only bowler to take wickets on the day. She got the breakthrough in the sixth over, removing Mdebuka for 26, but Fourie led the rebuild, adding 48 more runs with Chene Bester to put the side in a winning position before Morris struck again in the 12th over. She took her third wicket off the next ball to get rid of Bester for 25.
Goodall (11*) and Robyn Searle (7*) made quick work of the remainder of the chase to give the hosts an easy victory with 25 balls to spare.
The second match takes place on Sunday, 13 October at the B Field at the North West University Sports Village in Potchefstroom. Play starts at 14:00.