TAUNTON – South Africa’s twin losses on the same day were England and New Zealand’s gain, as the teams notched up world-record totals one after the other to give the women’s Twenty20 International series a strong start.
Hours after New Zealand made 216/1, the highest team total in women’s T20I cricket, on Wednesday, England went one up to make 250/3.
The 66-run and 121-run losses were a “proper hiding”,Dané van Niekerk, the South Africa captain, admitted.
For England, Tammy Beaumont scored a 52-ball 116 – the second-fastest in women's T20Is – and was helped by a 36-ball 56 from Danni Wyatt. It was Beaumont's third century on the trot across formats, having led her side to wins in the two preceding ODIs against South Africa as well.
“It is pretty good feeling to contribute to England wins and it was a pretty complete innings. This morning Ali Maiden, our assistant coach, said I bet you can't hit three [centuries] in three [matches], so had a little dig there,” she said.
Beaumont added 147 runs for the first wicket with Wyatt in just 13.1 overs.
“We had a good chat yesterday and I'm not necessarily as confident opening up in T20s and [Maiden] said to give myself 10 balls to get in and Danni would go from ball one. That helped me settle in, and know I could catch up afterwards.”
England captain Heather Knight lauded the intent showed by the openers. “Tammy has been in brilliant form and to have that kind of freedom at the top of the order is brilliant from those two and outstanding for the girls coming in,” she said.
For New Zealand, it was captain Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine doing the damage. Their 182-run opening stand was a record in T20Is, for men or women. Bates, with her maiden T20I century, became the leading run-scorer in the format: her 2639 from 97 matches puts her ahead of England's Charlotte Edwards (2605 in 95).
Hailing her 360 degree game, coach Haidee Tiffen said, “Suzie is playing some of her best cricket at the moment ... As the women’s game has grown, so has Suzie. She keeps evolving. We’ve seen shots she’s been working on and she’s executing them in the game. It makes her even more dangerous to bowl to.”
With two games left for them in the group stage, South Africa will have their task cut out. “Today we got a proper hiding from both teams, they batted really well and I can't fault how any of them played,” said van Niekerk.
“Our bowling is an area of concern,” she said. “We are bowling too many different lines and lengths, we are all over the place. We have to go back to the drawing board and hopefully we can turn it around in the next few games.”
African News Agency (ANA)