Lizelle Lee’s 117 was not enough as the Proteas Women failed to chase down 332, resulting in England levelling the series 1-1 with a 69-run victory in Brighton.
England proved their world-champion status with an incredible bounce-back performance. Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor starred for the hosts, with their 156-run partnership setting the tone as England posted a total of 331-6.
The Proteas Women, whose bowling attack has been hailed as one of the best in the world, failed to impress despite their regular stars contributing to their wickets tally. Shabnim Ismail (2-78), Ayabonga Khaka (2-72) and Marizanne Kapp (2-48) fought hard to reduce the hosts, but the damage was done after tons from Beaumont and Taylor.
The Proteas were on the hunt for a world-record chase. The highest-ever run chase came from Australia, who chased down 289-6 against New Zealand in 2012.
A stubborn opening partnership between Lee and Laura Wolvaardt caused a light sweat for the hosts as they strung together 142 in 25 overs before Wolvaardt lost her wicket on 32. Sune Luus only managed two before she was removed, as England began to suffocate the visitors.
Lee’s prized wicket fell in the 33rd over, when she cut one to point. She was phenomenal, scoring 117 off 107 deliveries, which included a staggering 13 fours and five sixes. Dane van Niekerk followed suit, losing her wicket on nine as the Proteas started to fold.
At 172-4, half-way through the 34th over, the Proteas were left with a daunting mountain to climb.
Chloe Tryon walked in and showed her quick-fire ability to keep her side in the match, but the Proteas could only skip to 214-5 when Mignon du Preez was dismissed.
Tryon must be commended for her incredible effort. She smashed 44 off 26 balls (three fours, four sixes) but was caught on the boundary by Danielle Wyatt off Sophie Ecclestone’s bowling as SA toiled on 229-6 toward the end of the 42nd over.
Wickets continued to tumble. Stacey Lackay fell for a duck, Ismail for three and Khaka for one.
Ecclestone was England’s top bowler, ending with figures of 3-54 in her 10 overs. Katherine Brunt and Laura Marsh contributed with two wickets each while Georgia Elwiss and Anya Shrubsole added one wicket apiece.
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