Johannesburg - Lara Goodall bemoaned the Proteas' misfortune in the final 20 minutes of play in the once-off Test against England on Wednesday, in which a good day was turned into a bad one.
Goodall and Laura Wolvaardt’s dismissals in back to back overs from the effervescent Issy Wong, gave England upper hand at the end of the third day. South Africa will resume Thursday on 55/3, still trailing England by 78 runs, with skipper Sune’ Luus on 4 and nightwatcher Tumi Sekhukhune on one.
In murky conditions at the County Ground in Somerset, with rain still falling occasionally, Goodall and Wolvaardt concentrated fiercely against some excellent seam bowling from England, almost taking their team through to stumps. “Laura and I were excited to get out there, we felt quite settled before the rain break, we had a plan and we felt like it was working, it was unfortunate things didn’t go our way. I was disappointed with how I got out this evening,” said Goodall.
She got a thin edge to a delivery down legside which England’s wicket keeper Amy Jones did well to catch, while Wolvaardt was shaken up by some short stuff from Wong, before throwing her bat at wide ball, with Nat Sciver poaching a superb diving catch in the gully.
“She has quite a bit of pace,” Goodall said of the 20 year old Wong, who is one of four debutants in the England team. “But that’s not really a problem. We have one of the fastest bowlers in the world in our change room (Shabnim Ismail) who we get to face on a day to day basis. (Wong) hit good lines and lengths and cranked it up a bit. She bowled quicker there than she did in the first innings. Credit to her, she bowled really well at the end.”
Goodall and Wolvaardt shared a 35-run stand for the second wicket in 15 overs, defending stoutly against the moving ball. “We felt that Kate Cross was the most dangerous bowler in the first innings. She has very good skill and is insanely consistent which is what you need in Test cricket. The plan was not to play if you don’t need to, and if they erred fuller we could take advantage. We negotiated that period pretty well, it’s just a pity we got out at the end.”
Goodall was realistic about South Africa’s chances on the final day. “Our backs are against the wall, there’s no denying that,” she said. “We have to bat as long as we can, take the game as deep as we can and hopefully get a draw. It looks quite difficult to win from the position we are in, if we take a draw we can pat ourselves on the back. We haven't played (a Test match) in a long time against a team that plays quite regularly.”