ENGLAND’S hopes of a win were dashed in equal parts by weather and the resistance shown by first-innings centurion Marizanne Kapp and night-watcher Tumi Sekhukhune as South Africa drew the Test on a rain-curtailed final day at Taunton yesterday.
The visitors had added only nine runs to their overnight score of 55-3 when Kate Cross struck early to strengthen England’s position in the match. South Africa were in a spot of bother on the penultimate evening – reduced to 45-3 after England declared their first innings on 417-8 with a lead of 133 runs. Sune Luus’ departure inside ten overs, as Cross trapped her lbw, re-ignited England’s hopes amidst gloomy weather.
However, Sekhukhune dug in and played 134 balls for her unbeaten 33 as South Africa put up a stiff fight. Together with Lizelle Lee, she added 54 runs for the fifth-wicket stand. Lee, however, did the bulk of the scoring in that alliance, making 36 off 51 balls before Sophie Ecclestone sent her packing.
That brought Kapp to the crease. She continued from where she left off in the first innings and followed up her 150 with an unbeaten 43 that came at a rather brisk pace. Kapp struck eight boundaries in her 58-ball knock but persistent rain cut into the day’s play.
The final spell of rain, that forced an early tea break, proved fatal enough to the prospects of any meaningful resumption and the two captains shook hands. England and South Africa, therefore, collected two points each to begin the multi-format series on equal footing.
The one-off Test, South Africa’s first in over seven years, will be followed by three T20Is and as many ODIs.
Brief scores: South Africa 284 (Marizanne Kapp 150; Kate Cross 4-63) & 181/5 (Marizanne Kapp 43*, Tumi Sekhukhune 33*; Issy Wong 2-46, Kate Cross 2-56) drew with England 417/8 decl. (Nat Sciver 169*, Alice Davidson-Richards 107; Anne Bosch 3-77, Nonkululeko Mlaba 2-74) . (Cricbuzz)