Edwards underpins warm-up win
Dependable captain Charlotte Edwards led from the front as England comfortably beat South Africa in their first of two warm-up games for the Women’s World Cup.
Edwards’ smooth 78 from the top of the order set up a strong total of 270 for nine, also aided by Heather Knight’s near run-a-ball 42, from 50 overs at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
England’s bowlers then restricted South Africa’s scoring, with left-arm spinner Holly Colvin particularly impressive in returning 2-29 from 10 economical overs. Despite an unbeaten 64 from skipper Mignon du Preez, the Proteas were limited to 219 for six.
Knight told ecb.co.uk: “It was a good game. It was good to get out there really.
“Charlotte batted well up front, laid a platform for the lower order to get a decent total on the board. And then the bowlers got overs under their belts and it was good to get miles in the legs in the field.
“There wasn’t a huge amount of turn out here but I think Holly bowled particularly well, just hit her areas.”
England’s other warm-up is tomorrow versus New Zealand at the Bandra Kurla Complex, also in Mumbai. Edwards’ side begin their World Cup defence on Friday against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne.
England were due to play Pakistan today but on Friday the International Cricket Council changed the schedule for the warm-ups and competition proper, although England’s grouping with India, Sri Lanka and West Indies remains the same.
The Pakistan match was scheduled to be at the Wankhede Stadium while the New Zealand fixture was originally on Wednesday at the DY Patil Academy. While England’s group schedule has changed, those games remain in Mumbai.
Knight was not bothered by the late switch of today’s opponents, adding: “A warm-up game is a warm-up game, so it’s good to get out there.
“We’ve got two back-to-back games. It might be a bit of a challenge but we’ll be fresh as we can tomorrow and I’m looking forward to playing New Zealand.”
The alterations, along with losing today’s toss and opening partner Tammy Beaumont for a duck, could have distracted Edwards yet she added 101 in 20 overs for the third wicket with Lydia Greenway.
Edwards, who faced 94 balls and hit nine fours, was bowled by Sunette Loubser at the end of the 30th over. Arran Brindle and Greenway soon went, the latter for 35, but Knight took control although wickets fell around her in the closing overs.
Off-spinner Danni Hazell, who opened the bowling, snared Shandre Fritz and while second-wicket duo Trisha Chetty and Savanna Cordes then occupied the crease for more than 20 overs, their progress was slow. South Africa had scored just 85 when Brindle trapped Cordes lbw for 33 in the 27th over.
Chetty and du Preez upped the ante, but Colvin removed the former for 57 via Greenway’s impressive catch at midwicket. That began a middle-order slide which left du Preez without sufficient support to challenge England’s score.
In another of today’s warm-ups New Zealand, the 2009 runners-up, lost to India by eight wickets at the Bandra Kurla where Poonam Raut’s 69 counted for more than Frances Mackay’s and Jhulan Goswami took 3-26 as the White Ferns were dismissed for 201.
Australia amassed 333 for five in beating West Indies by 135 runs at Mumbai’s Middle Income Group Ground. Australia’s top four made fifties and only Deandra Dottin could do likewise for the Windies, who were all out in the 44th over
Sri Lanka suffered a four-wicket defeat to a Mumbai Combined XI, featuring men, at the Gymkhana Ground in Mumbai.