England women wrap up T20 series
England women followed their clean sweep in the one-day series against South Africa women with a 2-0 triumph in the Twenty20 rubber.
Yesterday’s no-result denied Charlotte Edwards’ side the opportunity to win every game on the tour, but they made it five victories from as many completed matches today at Potchefstroom.
Despite an opening stand of 81 between Cri-zelda Brits and Trisha Chetty, economical bowling kept South Africa to 118 for two.
Sarah Taylor’s rapid 39 from 28 balls and an unbeaten 31 from Lydia Greenway eased the tourists to a seven-wicket win with 25 deliveries to spare.
Taylor, who struck 50 in the first game and did not bat yesterday, was named player of the match and the series.
Edwards said: “Sarah Taylor has had a fantastic trip; she’s keeping and batting as well as I’ve ever seen her play and Lydia Greenway is in the form of her life.”
Taylor added: “I’ve really enjoyed both series out here; it’s been a good run with the bat for me and it’s been nice to bat with Charlotte again.
“It’s been good to bat at number three; it’s a different task and I’ve enjoyed the responsibility. I was really pleased to be able to go out there today and control the game with Lydia.”
After Mignon du Preez won the toss, Chetty and Brits built a solid platform with a fifty partnership from as many balls, but England kept them to seven boundaries in the 14 overs they occupied the crease.
Jenny Gunn had Chetty caught at deep midwicket by Greenway for 33 and, in the over she went to 50 from 51 deliveries, Brits played across Arran Brindle and lost her middle stump without addition.
Chloe Tryon and du Preez finished unbeaten on 18 and 16 respectively, the former lifting Brindle for six in the last over, but their total was 10 fewer than England had comfortably chased in the first T20.
Georgia Elwiss impressed on her T20 international debut with four overs costing only 20 and Laura Marsh’s completed allocation was one run less expensive.
Edwards kick-started the reply with consecutive fours off Tryon and soon took two more from Dinesha Devnarain.
However, Marsh was bowled middle stump by Masabata Klaas and, in the next over, Tryon clipped the top of Edwards’ off pole on 22.
Taylor and Greenway consolidated before beginning to find the rope, the latter twice consecutively to leg off Devnarain, in a partnership worth 76 inside 10 overs.
Taylor was caught off Klaas, the hosts’ outstanding bowler with 2-17 from four overs, but Greenway continued with two fours off Kirstie Thomson, whose next delivery went for five wides to seal England’s victory.
Edwards said: “I'm really pleased that we have managed to complete what we set out to do, which was to win all our games of cricket. We’ve played really positive cricket out here.
“Our bowling and fielding has got better throughout the trip. All the bowlers have had great spells and I thought Georgia Elwiss bowled exceptionally well today in her first international T20.
“The key players have really performed and people have taken responsibility. We’re really happy with where we are at. We have really good competition for places in the team at the moment and I think that’s a really good place to be.”
She added: “We’re now looking forward to the rest of the winter and towards the series against New Zealand in February.”