Record breakers thrash tourists

Caroline Atkins

Caroline Atkins reaches her century - she went on to make 145 in England's win

Records tumbled at Lord's where Caroline Atkins and Sarah Taylor hit stunning centuries as England thrashed South Africa by 225 runs.

On a day full of personal triumph for a number of England's players, starting with Lydia Greenway and Nicky Shaw winning their 50th caps, Atkins became just the third England woman to hit a ton at Lord's as she cracked a momentous 145, smashing her previous best of 69.

Taylor was not far behind, bringing up her second ODI century before eventually being dismissed off the last ball for a fine 129. It was the first time since 1973 that two openers had scored centuries for England women.

The pair put on 268, an England record, as the hosts posted 310 for three - a record score against South Africa.

Katherine Brunt piled more misery on the tourists by taking her first ever one-day five-for as England completed a crushing victory by dismissing South Africa for just 85.

On an overcast morning at Lord's, play was delayed for 45 minutes following a shower moments after the two skippers completed the toss.

Despite bowler friendly conditions, England's openers dominated from the first over.

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor hits out during her wonderful century at Lord's today

Normally the more watchful of the two, Atkins was the more dominate this time, skipping down the wicket to the slower bowlers whenever possible and piercing the fielders with regularity as she cruised past fifty.

She was fortunate to avoid being run-out in the 21st over when Dinesha Devnarin made a mess of collecting a throw from point.

Taylor picked up the tempo, pulling successive boundaries off Charlize Van Der Westhuizen and her half-century, her second in succession, arrived two overs later with a push to long-off.

Twenty-seven year old Atkins continued on her merry way and coasted past her previous best of 69, which she scored against New Zealand last winter.

England went past the 150-mark as Atkins rattled through the 90s, milking Sounette Loubser's spinners to bring a maiden international century in sight. It duly arrived, off 117 deliveries, with a tickle down to fine leg before she embarked on a joyous celebration.

Atkins, whose running between the wickets was a feature of her epic stay, was not finished there and continued to punish the wayward South African bowling with a series of full-blooded shots as she and Taylor honed in on the highest-ever opening partnership in England's history, which previously stood at 246.

Even though she was not at her fluent best, Taylor continued to score at a decent rate, despite boundaries drying up once she passed fifty. She rediscovered her touch with a delightful cover drive off Devnarin to move to 96.

The hugely talented wicketkeeper already has a hundred to her name - she hit 101 against Australia in Chennai in March 2007 - and she reached her second ton, this time off 118 balls, with a deft tickle off Loubser.

Just as it looked like number three Claire Taylor might spend 50 overs sitting on the balcony with her pads on, Atkins finally perished for 145 attempting a heave towards the Tavern stand.

Katherine Brunt

Katherine Brunt celebrates one of her five wickets for just 25 runs

The two Taylors combined to good effect before Claire was bowled for a quickfire 17, shortly followed by Sarah - but not before she had launched the only six of the match.

With a mountain of a total to defend, England could afford to attack the South African batters - an invitation Brunt accepted.

Bowling with decent pace and unerring accuracy, she made an early breakthrough in the third over, trapping Alicia Smith leg before with just 14 runs on the board.

The quick bowler followed that up with an identical wicket next ball as Magdalena Terblanche unwisely played across the line and was given out.

The tourists were soon reduced to 34 for three when Cri-Zelda Brits chipped Isa Guha straight to Jenny Gunn in the covers.

Wickets continued to tumble as Brunt claimed her third lbw of the innings, Olivia Anderson the latest to fall victim after a patient 14.

Brunt's fourth successful leg before decision was not far away as Trisha Chetty got caught in front of the stumps to leave South Africa 41 for five.

By now, Brunt could do no wrong, and that included her fielding.

In the next over she launched a throw from the boundary which ran out Annelie Minny and soon after completed her first one-day five-for with a full delivery which made a horrible mess of Susanna Benade's stumps.

Holly Colvin joined in the fun en route to 1-16 from 10 miserly overs, enticing Loubser to hit straight to Atkins at mid-on, and there was time for Edwards to get in on the act when Ashlyn Kilowan was caught by Shaw.

The skipper then finished off the job by sneaking a full delivery through Devnarin's attempted defence.