A moment to savour

Caroline Atkins

Opener Caroline Atkins acknowledges the applause as she leaved the field

After scoring her first ever hundred for England, don't be surprised if you see Caroline Atkins floating away from Lord's tonight on cloud nine.

"It has not sunk in yet," the opener told ecb.co.uk after cracking a magnificent 145 as the hosts hammered South Africa by 225 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

"Coming to Lord's is always special. Walking out to bat, through the Long Room, it's a privilege just to play here, but today has been amazing.

"It was an emotional moment when I got my hundred. I just jumped for joy and looked up at the dressing room to see all my team-mates clapping me. They looked thrilled. When I walked into the changing room afterwards there was a big applause.

"My family were here too which made it even more special."

Atkins and Sarah Taylor rewrote the record books as they piled on 268 for the first wicket - a record stand for England cricket that was the platform the home side needed to set up a huge 225-run victory.

Caroline Atkins

Atkins aims towards the boundary during her ton

"I just went for it," said Atkins, who has waited seven years for an international century.

"I did not bat that well in the first game at Canterbury and thought I might not get selected for the third game if I did not play well today.

"I backed myself and thought I would rather fail giving it a go than making another sluggish 30. Luckily it came off but I need to carry on with that approach."

So any chance of a few celebratory drinks?

"I think I will be asleep soon," she joked. "I might be able to have a couple before I fall in a heap at the hotel."