Tea South Africa 284 and 27 for 1 (Wolvaardt 12*, Goodall 12*) trail England 417 for 8 dec (Sciver 169, Davidson-Richards 107) by 106 runs
England then attempted to overturn umpire Anna Harris’ not-out decision when, three balls later, they thought Cross had Lara Goodall out lbw but the DRS confirmed she had put bat to ball. With that, the forecast rain which was surely a factor in England’s declaration arrived and the players left the field.
Only another eight overs were bowled, when play resumed with South Africa closing the gap to 106 before another heavy shower brought about an early tea. At the interval, Goodall and Laura Wolvaardt were both unbeaten on 12.
Sciver had shared a 207-run partnership for the sixth wicket with old schoolmate Alice Davidson-Richards, who fell on the final ball of the second day having made a century on her Test debut.
Anneke Bosch dropped a return catch off Ecclestone, on 18 at the time, in her second over of the day, the firmly struck chance slipping through her hands during her follow-through.
Then, making matters worse, Sciver immediately picked off consecutive boundaries, pulled through square leg and cracked over midwicket. She brought up her 150 a short time later pushing Nonkululeko Mlaba to long on for a single.
Ecclestone fell for a handy 35 when walking across her stumps trying to clip Mlaba towards fine leg she was struck on the front pad in line with leg stump.
Cross’ dismissal four balls later prompted England’s declaration after Sciver hit another Mlaba delivery towards midwicket where Nadine de Klerk gathered and threw to the non-striker’s end. Cross had turned back but failed to ground her bat.
The declaration left Sciver 20 runs shy of Betty Snowball’s record for the highest Test score by an England Women’s player, set in 1935. But with rain forecast for the remainder of the match and England keen to force a result, team goals took precedence over personal milestones.