England Women U19s lose tour opener

An Emerging South Africa XI beat England Women Under-19s by seven wickets at Potchefstroom in the first of three Twenty20 games between the sides.

It marked the start of the inaugural tour of South Africa for that England Women’s age-group, which also includes three one-dayers versus the same opponents and a meeting with South Africa Women in the latter format.

Touring captain Jess Watson backed up her decision to bat first with 33 from the top of the order, although she saw opening partner Georgia Adams bowled by Elriesa Thuenissen for five.

Lara Goodall trapped Georgia Hennessy in front for nought and ran out Izzy Collins, but Watson and Sophie Luff held the innings together.

After Stephanie Butler was caught behind to give Yolani Fourie her second wicket, Luff went on to 59 not out thanks in part to 10 fours as England posted 119 for five.

Openers Zizipho Mdebuka and Fourie put the hosts on course for victory with a 53-run stand, broken by Fi Morris snaring the former for 26.

Fourie added 48 more with Chene Bester to maintain the winning position before Morris struck again in the 12th over, ousting the opener for 49.

Morris, who returned 3-31 from four overs, took her third wicket with her next ball to get rid of Bester for 25, yet Goodall and Robyn Searle completed victory with 25 deliveries to spare.