England thwarted by rain and dogged South Africa as Women’s Test at Taunton ends in a draw

Women’s event ends in draw with rain ending England’s bid for victory at Taunton; night watchman Thumi Sekhukhune leads the South African rearguard with 33 unbeaten in 134 deliveries; The teams earn two points each in a multi-format series, which continues with the first ODI in Northampton on July 11.

England were thwarted by rain and chased down South Africa’s batting as the four-day LV = Women’s Insurance Test at Taunton ended in a draw.

An initial downpour forced the players off the field shortly before lunch, with South Africa 140-5 and a slim seven-run lead.

The weather gave way briefly to allow 11 overs before tea, but then returned with the Proteas extending their lead to 48 and their score to 181-5, through the diligent night watchman Tumi Sekhukhune (33 no out of 134 balls) and the more aggressive Marizanne Kapp (43 no). of 58).

The second deluge caused the day to be abandoned, meaning the teams pick up two points each in the multi-format series which continues with three one-day internationals, starting at Northampton on July 11, and as many T20Is.

With day three in Somerset also heavily rain-ravaged, the growing argument that the women’s Test matches should be played over five days has taken on even greater weight.

England squandered the chance to see off Sekhukhune before tea with Sophie Ecclestone playing on the turf as the left-footer nervously dodged a ball from the impressive Issy Wong (2-46).

But that was one of the rare flicks Sekhukhune played while displaying aptitude with the bat that belied his usual spot as tail, lasting more deliveries in this inning than he had faced in his entire international career before.

Sekhukhune shared half-century partnerships with Lizelle Lee (36) – who herself had dropped to 13 – and Kapp, having come to the crease on Thursday morning with South Africa 55-3 and 78 runs in default.

England’s hopes of winning were raised at the end of day three when Wong picked up the wickets of Lara Goodall and Laura Wolvaardt.

The home team then struck in the ninth on day four when Kate Cross pinned South Africa captain Sune Luus lbw for 10, the batsman struck by a nip-backer as she aimed to hit the side of the leg.

However, England had to wait 15 overs for their next wicket, which came when Lee parried Ecclestone with his left arm into the decks and Cross took an excellent running catch from the middle.

Lee could, and perhaps should, have gone down 25 minutes earlier, but goalkeeper Amy Jones seized a one-handed chance by leaping at her on the right after the batswoman had sliced ​​loosely into Wong’s first over of the day: England wasting the opportunity to reduce South Africa to 89-5.

The Proteas were still trailing by 44 points at the time, but by the time Lee departed, that deficit had shrunk to 15 as the right-hander topped a 54-run position with Sekhukhune.

England’s tactics were arguably a bit odd as attacking leader Cross didn’t come into action for 25 minutes and Wong was forced to wait over an hour for his first appearance despite casting a spell. from two windows under the lights the night before.

South Africa’s first-inning centurion Kapp put the Proteas in the lead with cap coverage off Ecclestone shortly before rain forced the players off the pitch; this rain was longer than the brief one that the teams had played earlier in the morning.

England got another brief chance in South Africa later, when once again Wong didn’t get the ball straight away.

The day ultimately ended in frustration for England, but they will be heartened by the performances of their four Test debutants.

Wong pitched fast and rattled the South African batsmen, while Lauren Bell found the swing at the rim, just like the now-retired Anya Shrubsole used to.

The all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards scored a century, sharing a 207-run standing with Nat Sciver in the early innings as England rallied from 121-5 to a declared 417-8, while starter Emma Lamb compiled a promising 38.

Some of the leading figures also stepped forward, with Sciver posting an unbeaten 169 – the fourth-highest score by an England player in the tests – and Cross relishing her role as spearhead of bowling following retirements. of his companions Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt.

Watch the first day of the rescheduled LV= Fifth Insurance Test between England and India, at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday. Coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. and the game starts at 10:30 a.m.

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