Alice Davidson-Richards and Natalie Sciver Create World Record Partnership on Day 2

Day 2 of the one-off Test between England and South Africa saw a couple of scintillating centuries from the bat of England’s Natalie Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards.

 

Alice-Davidson Richards and Natalie Sciver.  PC: Getty Images
Alice-Davidson Richards and Natalie Sciver. PC: Getty Images

After South Africa were bowled out for 284 on Day 1, the English batters got off to a perfect start. The opening pair of Tammy Beaumont (28) and Emma Lamb stitched a 65-run partnership to lay a solid foundation. After the departure of Beaumont, captain Heather Knight (8) joined Lamb (38), however, the skipper was run out as she failed to make a major contribution. The in-form middle-order batter Sophia Dunkley (18) also got out after getting to a start and wicket-keeper Amy Jones departed without troubling the scorers.

From being 65/1, England were suddenly struggling at 121/5 as they lost four wickets for just 66 runs. While the South Africans would have fancied their chances of bowling out England, Natalie Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards had some other plans. The duo came together and stitched a mammoth 207-run partnership for the sixth wicket. In the process, both the batters reached their respective centuries. Both the players scored their maiden Test centuries. While this was Sciver’s first century in her eight Tests, Davidson-Richards’ registered her first century in her debut Test.

Sciver and Davidson-Richards entered the record books with their stellar partnership. Their partnership of 207 is the joint second highest for England in women’s Tests. They share the record with Janette Brittin and Carole Hodges who achieved the feat against India in 1986. Also, their partnership is the second-highest for the sixth wicket in the history of women’s Tests behind Australia’s Jodie Fields and Rachael Haynes’ 227 against England in 2009.

In terms of individual records, Davidson-Richards now holds the record for scoring the third-highest runs by a debutant for England in women’s Tests. She is also the third English woman to score a century on debut. Apart from this, she is one of the only three players to have scored a century and picked up a wicket on her Test debut. The other two players in this list are Una Paisley of Australia and Chamani Seneviratna of Sri Lanka. She is also one of the two batters along with Seneviratna to score a century batting at number seven or lower in Tests.

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At the end of the day, England have scored 328/6 with Sciver still batting on 119. Davidson-Richards perished after mustering 107 runs on the penultimate ball of the day. England lead by 44 runs. On the other hand, for South Africa, Anneke Bosch was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Tumi Sekhukhune and Nonkululeko Mlaba chipped in with one apiece.

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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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