The England under-19 women beat the South Africa Emerging women by a convincing 68 runs to salvage a win in their lost three-match T20 series at the North West University Pukke Sports Village in Potchefstroom on Monday. South Africa take the T20 series 2-1.
The hosts did not look up to scratch as they struggled to take wickets and gave away 25 runs in extras after losing the toss to England, who chose to bat first. Opener, Jess Watson, scored 88 off 52 balls to lead her side to 181/2. Her success was aided in large by her 75-run partnership with Georgia Hennessey (33) and an unbeaten 96-run partnership with Sophie Luff (44*).
In reply, South Africa made 113/6 in their 20 overs. The opening pair, Zizi Mdebuka and Yolani Fourie, made a steady start with a 32-run partnership before the latter was bowled for 16 by Grace Gibbs in the sixth over. Mdebuka followed at the start of the ninth when she was caught behind off Hennessey (3/20) for 19.
The batters who followed also failed to score runs, with Hennessey bowling Robyn Searle for seven, while Maryka Kirchoff was run out without scoring in the 12th over. Chené Bester scored 12 off 11 balls before she became Hennessey’s third and final victim at the end of the 13th over.
Elriesa Theunissen was the leading run scorer, posting 32 off 23 balls to give her side hope, but succumbed to a stumping off Georgia Adams in the 16th over. South Africa were unable to recover from the repeated fall of wickets and succumbed to their visitors.
Coach Martelize van der Merwe, although disappointed with today’s loss, is happy with the overall performances from this series.
“We didn’t know what to expect from England starting out because all of their players were unknown to us but after the first match we got the hang of their playing style pretty quickly,” she said. “Our side did extremely well to perform against a side they had never encountered before and held their nerve really well in the second match to win by 11 runs. As a coach, I was very proud of the resilience that they showed.
“Today, we didn’t bowl the right areas and we know the mistakes that we made cost us dearly. Hats off to England for bouncing back today and taking advantage of our errors.”
Van der Merwe believes strongly that in order for there to be a greater depth of players in the pool for the national Momentum Proteas women’s side, more game time is needed for the emerging squad.
“We have a team of really hard working players and they showed commitment to the side during this tour. It’s really important for the future of women’s cricket in South Africa for the emerging side to continue getting international exposure in order for us to get more quality players for the national side,” Van der Merwe continued.
South Africa will now host England in a two-match 50 over series starting on Thursday, 17 October 2013.
“We’re really looking forward to the one-day games,” Van der Merwe went on to say. “We want to try out a few combinations and to give a few more youngsters a chance and see what happens. The side have gelled really well this past week, they are looking forward to finishing the tour on a high and showing our national selectors what they are made of.”