England in the opening 1st ODI bagged a comfortable 5-wicket win and have moved 1-0 up in the 3-match ODI series. South Africa is in the must-win territory to stay alive in the series.
For South Africa, runs from Laura Wolvaardt at the top and crucial knocks from middle order players Chole Tryon and Nadine de Klerk pushed South Africa to go past the 200 total before being bowled out for 218. The pair of Nat Sciver (4) and Katherine Brunt (3) shared 7 wickets between them. England in reply had Emma Lamb hold one end and bat through to get to her maiden ton and Nat Sciver on the other end with a quick 55 off 36 helped England complete the chase in 32.1 overs.
Action now moves to Bristol, the venue for the 2nd ODI. South Africa has announced a couple of inclusion in bowler, Masabata Klaas who’s making her return to the side after completing her rehabilitation from a shoulder injury, and all-rounder, Delmi Tucker who debuted in South Africa’s recent tour of Ireland.
South Africa continues to struggle with its opening, Laura Wolvaardt has been impressive as always, but she’s not got a gritty partner on the other end. Opener, Andrie Steyn hasn’t really got going and it’s down to now or never. The middle order too failed to make runs in the opening ODI, but it’s an experienced bunch that will be hopeful of scoring runs on the good Bristol wicket. It was a brilliant return for Chloe Tryon after missing out on the one-off Test will look to continue on her great start as will Nadine de Klerk. South Africa needs someone in that top 5 to go on and score a big one tomorrow that’ll help their side post a competitive total. With ball in hand, South Africa bowled poorly and will look to bounce back stronger. The English batters came hard at them and yet failed to create chances, that’s where they’ll have to be brave in their bowling approach and look to tempt English batters.
England got all three aspects in batting, bowling, and fielding right in the opening ODI and will look to top it with much better performance to clinch the series 2-0. A real positive for England was Emma Lamb among big runs and with an experienced batter in Tammy Beaumont on the other end now will be hopeful for an opening masterclass from the two in games to come. The middle order continues to impress, but the willows of a couple of individuals that haven’t been firing will want to get them lit up. There was an unwanted experiment England tried in the opener that they should opt not to repeat with Heather Knight coming to bat in the lower middle order and Sophia Dunkley coming one down. If England does want to continue on it, there’s an option in Danni Wyatt to be promoted at 3. The bowling department with Katherine Brunt has got a different ring to it and was reflected in their performances as well, they’ll look to repeat their performance before trying to experiment with a couple of bowlers.
The Bristol wickets have generally been good for batting, the flat surfaces are what should make tomorrow’s decider a cracker one. There’s also a lot in for pacers early on and as the game spinners come in big time. This decider isn’t a contest to miss out on. South Africa will need improved performance both with bat and ball in hand to stay alive in the 3-match ODI that England leads 1-0, but are eyeing to continue their dominance and bag the series 2-0 with a game to go.