Edwards stars as England seal series
Skipper Charlotte Edwards led from the front with a marvellous 138 as England women opened up an unassailable 2-0 lead over South Africa in the three-match one-day series with a convincing 96-run triumph in Potchefstroom.
Just as Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle had reached three figures to set up an imposing total in Friday’s opening match, Edwards laid the foundations today by compiling her fifth ODI hundred.
Her 139-ball innings was studded with 22 fours and, together with Sarah Taylor’s brisk 77 from 63 deliveries, helped England post 315 for six from 50 overs after they had been invited to bat first by Cri-zelda Brits.
South Africa never looked likely to pull off a successful chase and were subsequently dismissed for 219, with no-one passing 50. Brindle, Danni Hazell, Danni Wyatt and Laura Marsh each chipped in with two wickets.
A delighted Edwards said: "It was a good all-round team performance today. I’m really pleased how we’ve come back with our bowling and our fielding performance.
"It’s always nice to clinch a series and to contribute to that is fantastic. I was really pleased with how I played today; I wanted to get a big score out here.
"Sarah and I have batted a lot together - she’s world class."
Wyatt had provided useful support to Edwards at the start of England’s innings, contributing 37 - her highest ODI score - to an opening stand of 88 before she was bowled by Shabnim Ismail in the 20th over.
Edwards and Taylor then lifted the tempo in an England women's record ODI second-wicket stand of 159 that saw the former bring up her century from 116 deliveries.
It was not until the 41st over that the duo were parted when Taylor was caught by Alison Hodgkinson at square-leg off Chloe Tryon.
The same combination accounted for Edwards two overs later, Hodgkinson holding on at short fine-leg, but England were still able to move beyond 300.
That was despite Ismail bowling Brindle cheaply, Greenway being run out for 22 and Jenny Gunn falling to Marizanne Kapp without scoring. Heather Knight finished on 21 not out.
It quickly became clear that England’s score was beyond South Africa’s reach.
Marsh trapped Hodgkinson in front for 16 and Hazell had Trisha Chetty caught behind for 39.
Dane van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez added 52 but Brindle removed the former for 44 to spark a slide of four wickets for 11 runs in 16 deliveries left the hosts reeling on 147 for six.
That included Knight snaring Brits for her first international wicket before Brindle removed Shandre Fritz and du Preez was run out for 31 later in the over.
After a brief recovery, Wyatt had Kapp lbw and bowled Tryon in the same over. Hazell then had Kirstie Thomson caught and bowled.
Marsh ended the game in the 48th over by having Ismail caught at point, leaving Sunette Loubser unbeaten on 17.
Sussex seamer Georgia Elwiss was unable to pick up a wicket on her England debut, but was delighted to be involved in a comprehensive win.
“After the first ball I settled down and got into my rhythm, it’s just really nice to be able to go out there and play with 10 other really good players and mates. It was a really good feeling and something that I want to continue,” she said.
“I had brilliant support from the team. Our batters set it up fantastically in the first half and I was supported by all the other bowlers and fielders. It was a great feeling to be part of the victory.”
The third match of the series takes place at the same venue on Tuesday.