Centuries from Nat Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards gave England a 44-run lead against the Proteas at stumps on day two of the one-off women’s Test in Taunton.
Sciver was unbeaten on 119 while Davidson-Richards, on her Test debut, was dismissed for 107 on what proved to be the last delivery of the day.
The duo put on 207 runs for the sixth wicket to help England recover from 121-5 to end the day on 328-6.
Anneke Bosch took 3-59 in her 15 overs, while Tumi Sekhukhune picked up the big wicket of Davidson-Richards.
The Proteas were bowled out for 284 in their first innings.
England openers Tammy Beaumont (28) and Emma Lamb (38) brought up a half-century stand for the first wicket before Bosch removed both openers in quick succession shortly before lunch. She trapped Beaumont lbw and then clean bowled Lamb with a jaffer of a delivery that went through the gate.
Shortly after the lunch interval, England captain Heather Knight (eight) was the third wicket to fall as she attempted a quick single before Sekhukhune and wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta combined brilliantly to inflict a run-out.
With South Africa’s tail up in the field, Sciver and Sophia Dunkley (18) did well to calm things down at the crease, despite Dunkley becoming Bosch’s third scalp of the day.
Although Nonkululeko Mlaba dismissed Amy Jones for a duck soon after, Sciver found another reliable ally in Davidson-Richardson as the pair steered England to tea on 176-5.
They then went from strength to strength out in the middle, with Sciver taking the attack to the South African bowlers as both batters reached their respective fifties before the experienced all-rounder and the debutant brought up their maiden Test hundreds to help England go in front in the contest.
A century on Test debut, the stuff of dreams. ❤️
🏴 #ENGvSA 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/4s3YNZQAI4
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 28, 2022
With Sciver and Davidson-Richards going at full tilt in the last hour of play, England passed the 300-run mark and looked to reach stumps with five wickets still in hand before Sekhukhune claimed a confidence-boosting wicket on the last ball of the day to get rid of Davidson-Richards.