South Africa Women vs England Women | Sky Sports Live Cricket

A trio of blistering half-centuries helped England defeat South Africa by 17 runs in a high-scoring Women’s T20 World Cup warm-up match in Stellenbosch.

Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey and Nat Sciver-Brunt all hit quickfire 50s as England ran up a mammoth 246 for seven after being sent into bat.

South Africa made a valiant attempt to chase down their daunting target but ultimately fell short as Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn and Lauren Bell claimed three wickets each.

England could hardly have got off a better start after losing the toss, with opener Dunkley racing to 50 from just 15 balls during an opening stand worth 68 in only 4.3 overs.

She fell four balls later, bowled in the fifth over by Shabnim Ismail for 59 having struck nine fours and three sixes, but the tone had been set for a remarkable day of batting.

Danni Wyatt fell for 24, but Capsey, with 61 off 33 balls, and Sciver-Brunt, 51 off 25, carried on Dunkley’s fireworks at the top of the order.

South Africa stemmed the flow of runs somewhat in the 17th and 18th overs, which only went for 13 in total and saw Heather Knight, Amy Jones and Sophie Ecclestone dismissed in the space of four balls, but Maia Bouchier (19 off seven balls) ensured a strong finish from the tourists.

With a run rate of more than 12 an over required, South Africa were soon in trouble as they slipped to 51 for three, with Dean sending back Laura Wolvaardt and captain Sune Luus either side of Glenn’s capture of Marizanne Kapp.

However, opener Tazmin Brits and Chloe Tryon pushed back with a third-wicket stand of 98, with Tyron smashing 65 off just 23 balls with seven sixes before she was snared by Dean (three for 46).

Fellow spinner Glenn (three for 30) then added Brits (38) and Annerie Dercksen (0) to her haul in the 13th over as South Africa’s challenge faded again.

Nadine de Klerk kept fighting for the hosts, hitting an unbeaten 27-ball 50, but Bell (three for 31) ensured there was no late twist in the tale as she claimed three wickets in the final four overs.

‘Aggressive and positive’

Dunkley said: “It was a great win today. I think we all went out there really aggressive and positive, great to get the win in what got to be a close game and it felt good to get out there.

“I think obviously some great bowlers on the opposition, but I think making a really strong effort to try and just be really fierce and brave and take on some of the best bowlers in the world, which I hope to do throughout the competition.

“I thought it was great to see Capsey back out after injury, but she looked back to her best, smashing the ball over the ropes which was great to see, and also Nat as well, we know how good she is but great to see her get going really quickly and really take the game to South Africa today.”

Watch England’s T20 World Cup campaign live on Sky Sports Cricket. The team’s opening game, against West Indies, is live from 12.30pm (1pm first ball) on Saturday.

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