A record 275-run stand between Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont laid the foundation for a comprehensive 68-run England victory over the Proteas on Thursday.
The hosts won the toss and opted to bat first, with the Proteas seeking their third win in four matches.
Beaumont and Lauren Winfield gave England an ideal start, guiding their side past 50 after nine overs. The Proteas bowlers were finally handed a reprieve when Mosaline Daniels effected the breakthrough, Lauren Winfield out for 24.
The dismissal did little to stem the flow of runs, however. Ill-discipline by the bowlers in which 14 wides were conceded propelled England to three figures after 20 overs.
Taylor and Beaumont made the bowlers pay for their poor lines and the latter became the first to reach her century in the 38th over with a boundary. Taylor followed suit shortly after that, her ton coinciding with the team 250.
The pair continued to make it look easy, bringing up the team 300 early in the 44th over. When Taylor finally departed just three runs short of her 150, she and Beaumont had struck the second-highest partnership in Women’s ODI history, and highest in Women’s World Cup history.
Marizanne Kapp was the bowler to do it again for the Proteas, repeating her feat of three wickets in four balls after doing the same against West Indies. Her effort was enough to ‘restrict’ England to 373.
The Proteas made a dream start in their chase thanks to Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt. They got the scoreboard ticking over early and when Lee brought up her 11th ODI fifty it became apparent that we had a game on our hands, as the Proteas found themselves neck-and-neck with England after 20 overs at 100-1.
Their chase was dealt two untimely blows in quick succession, however. The first was the dismissal of Lee, finally bowled for a terrific 77-ball 72 (seven fours, two sixes) after being dropped four times.
The second was the run out of Trisha Chetty to leave the Proteas on 142-2. Wolvaardt kept her side in the hunt, reaching her half-century and also seeing the team past 150.
The dismissal of Wolvaardt (67) and Dane van Niekerk (9) appeared to have ended the Proteas challenge. Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon, however, kept up the fight despite the run-rate creeping past 15 in the 42nd over. The Proteas batters led their side past 250.
Tryon completed a fantastic half-century off 25 balls with a six, but she was dismissed the very next ball, as the challenge was all but over. The final nail in the Proteas coffin was the departure of Du Preez for 43.
A late-innings flutter from Sune Luus (22) helped the Proteas finish on a respectable 305-9. Though they fell short, South Africa will take pride in the fact that they contributed to the highest-scoring ODI in Women’s ODI history, as well as racking up the highest score in Women’s ODI history for a team batting second.
The Proteas will be looking to bounce back when they face India on Saturday.
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