Issy Wong takes two late wickets as England boost chances of beating South Africa after rain-hit day

Issy Wong takes two wickets at the end of the third day as England eye win; hosts declare 417-8 in the morning with Nat Sciver undefeated at 169; rain washes out much of Wednesday’s action – watch day four from 10.30am Thursday Sky Sports Cricket

Issy Wong picked up two wickets during an excellent late-night spell on a third rainy day to increase England’s chances of forcing victory over South Africa in the LV=Insurance Women’s Test at Taunton.

The fast bowler, making her Test debut, rattled the Proteas with her pace, dismissing Lara Goodall (26) and Laura Wolvaardt (16) as the tourists closed the penultimate day 55-3, trailing England 78.

Only eight overs were possible between lunch and 6.30pm due to two lengthy rain delays, but Wong came alive in the final 13-over hour, with Goodall catching the side of the leg and forcing Wolvaardt to cut the ravine.

With the forecast for the fourth and final day also looking doubtful, it could still be difficult for England to force a win, but Wong’s two goals have given them a real chance.

England had earlier declared at 417-8 with a 133 lead – Nat Sciver advanced from his 119 overnight to an unbeaten 169 before Heather Knight called his side 30 minutes before the scheduled lunch break.

Sciver’s 207-run standing with fellow centurion Alice Davidson Richards (107) had revived England from 121-5 to 328-6 on day two and she added 86 with Sophie Ecclestone (35) for seventh wicket on Wednesday night. morning.

Sciver was then the catcher at Gully when Kate Cross took out South Africa starter Andrie Steyn (3), only for rain to prompt a slightly early lunch and keep the players out of the park for just over two hours.

Play resumed at 3.05pm, but the players went out again half an hour later, though not before England missed out on Goodall’s wicket after failing to even appeal a nick behind closer Lauren Bell.

England entered day three hoping to quickly increase their overnight lead to 44 and Sciver and Ecclestone duly delivered, 89 runs coming from the 121 balls the home team faced in the first session.

Sciver progressed to the sixth-highest scoring by an England player in the tests, driving, shooting and sweeping her way to 21 bounds for innings, while Ecclestone, at the crease after Davidson-Richards went off the last ball in on day two, he hit four fours on his aggressive stroke.

Ecclestone went down in the 18th with closer Anneke Bosch unable to take a big return chance to her forehand and losing a fourth wicket of innings – Bosch went on 3-77 from her 18 overs.

Ecclestone was eventually caught lbw playing left arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba and her dismissal was followed by Cross (1) running out four balls later after failing to ground her bat on the non-forward end.

Knight declared at the time, ending Sciver’s chances of achieving the best ever score by an England player in a women’s event, that it remains the 189 that Betty Snowball hit against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1935.

Watch day four of the LV= insurance test between England and South Africa live on Sky Sports on Thursday. Coverage begins at 10.30am on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix, with the first dance at 11am

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