Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle of England put together an unbeaten partnership of 218 runs to lead their side to a 62-run victory over South Africa in the first One Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at Senwes Park Stadium in Potchefstroom on Friday. Both batters scored impressive centuries to secure their team’s triumph.
South Africa won the toss and chose to field first and had a dream start when Shabnim Ismail took the wicket of captain, Charlotte Edwards (1) on her 150th ODI match. Ismail once again followed with a wicket six overs later when she ran Sarah Taylor out for 33 runs.
Dannielle Wyatt was the last wicket to fall when she was caught behind at the start of the 18th over by wicket keeper Trisha Chetty off Marizanne Kapp for 21 runs.
Greenway and Brindle steadily steered the ship back on course and went about to post a mammoth 297 runs with Greenway getting 127 not out and Brindle 107*.
Chasing 298 runs was never going to be easy but South Africa were determined to give it their best shot. They unfortunately lost Shandré Fritz (9) on the last ball of the fourth over thanks to a clever piece of bowling by Isa Guha.
Chetty and Alison Hodgkinson (71) brought calm to the innings when they stood up to the England bowling attack and put together a partnership of 143 runs, the highest South African women’s second-wicket partnership. It was broken by Laura Marsh when Chetty was trapped LBW for a well played 72 off 100 balls.
Things seemed to unravel after that with no notable partnerships to bring the innings back to the South African side. The middle order and tail seemed to disintegrate with no one scoring over 20 runs. Wyatt claimed two ducks near the end and South Africa ended up 235 all out.
South Africa captain Cri-Zelda Brits expressed disappointment with the loss, but highlighted the positives they took away from the game.
“We are of course sad about the loss but there are good things to be taken out of it, we made a good start and fielded great in the beginning against the world’s number one team.
“The two batters (Greenway and Brindle) played exceptional cricket and they took the game away from us,” said Brits. “In the batting department we also made an impressive partnership that could have taken us all the way. That said, we are determined to make a huge come back,” she said.
“I would also like to thank Banyana Banyana for coming through and cheering us on today, they made the game really special for us,” Brits continued.
The national women’s football team, showed their support to their cricket counterparts by attending the match and more than a few team members were watching cricket for the first time.
Banyana Banyana captain, Amanda Dlamini, said; “I think it is important for us sports women to support one another especially during the difficult times like a loss. The team played really well and some of my teammates are now interested in cricket and would like to watch more matches.”
The second ODI takes place on Sunday, 23 October 2011 at Senwes Park Stadium in Potchefstroom. Entrance is free and braai facilities are available.