Recent Match Report – SA Women vs ENG Women Only Test 2022

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

Nat Sciver extended her powerful innings and then had a hand in an early breakthrough as England stretched their advantage over South Africa on the third day of their Test in Taunton.

England declared with a 133-run first-innings lead and then made inroads when Kate Cross invited Andrie Steyn to drive at a ball pitched up just outside off stump and getting an edge to fly to gully, where Sciver took a sound, low catch.

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.

Earlier, Sciver, 119 not out overnight, surpassed Marizanne Kapp’s 150 in South Africa’s first innings to end unbeaten on 169 when England declared. Having resumed with a 44-run advantage, Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone added another 65 runs in the first hour of the day, both finding the boundary with relative ease as they looked to accelerate.

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.