The Proteas Women suffered the horror of twice conceding a record number of runs in a T20I in a single day at Taunton.
The Proteas Women dusted themselves off after a 66-run loss earlier in the afternoon against the New Zealand Women who had, in the process, set the record for the highest total in women’s T20Is against South Africa.
The New Zealand Women had bettered the Australian Women’s standing record score by seven runs in posting their 216-1, only for the English Women to smash that record as they hammered the Proteas with a mammoth 250-3 off their 20 overs.
Tammy Beaumont was, yet again, the English rose that proved a thorn in the side of the Proteas, as she carved 116 runs off 52 balls (S/R 223.07, 18 fours, four sixes). Her century was the second-fastest in women’s T20 history, coming off just 47 balls, and followed up her scores of 101 and 105 in her two previous innings, both coming in ODIs against the Proteas Women last week.
Beaumont received great support from Danni Wyatt (56 off 36 balls) and Katherine Brunt, whose 42 not out came off just 16 balls – and at an almost unfathomable strike rate of 262.50.
The Proteas’ bowling figures all made heavy reading, with only Dane van Niekerk (0-38, economy 9.50) going for under 10 runs to the over, with Stacy Lackay (bowling for the first time in a T20I) capturing 2-59 off her four overs but being carted for four fours and five sixes.
The Proteas’ response was understandably tepid, considering the punishment meted out to the ladies during the day. They ended on 129-6 after their 20 overs – Van Niekerk once again the Proteas’ standout performer with the bat, following up her 58 against New Zealand earlier in the day with 72 runs against England, the second half-century coming off 51 balls (eight fours, three sixes, S/R 141.17).
Mignon du Preez again provided support to Van Niekerk – her 36 against New Zealand was followed by 25 off 24 balls against England.
The Proteas have three days to lick their wounds before taking England on again this coming Saturday, followed by a final match against New Zealand next Thursday. While their chances of making the final might seem hopeless, they will have the freedom to play both matches without any pressure which could give them an edge over both opponents although, judging by the form of both New Zealand and England today, it might be better to approach the remainder of this tour as a learning experience and a chance to grow together as a team.
Cricket is, however, a funny old game, and there is a lot of talent in this Proteas Women’s tea, so don’t hold your breath just yet if you’re thinking about pencilling in the finalists for the Tri-Nations Series final on 1 July.
Photo: Julian Herbert/Getty Images