August 20, 2003

Feeble South Africans face uphill struggle

Wisden Cricinfo staff
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Day 1 Close England Women 189 for 3 (Claire Taylor 78*) lead South Africa Women 130 (Pearson 4-25) by 69 runs
Scorecard



Lucy Pearson: four wickets as South Africa collapsed after lunch
© Getty Images


South Africa's women performed a vanishing act that their Indian counterparts would have been proud of, as England took control on the opening day of the second and final Test at Taunton. South Africa were bowled out inside two sessions for 130, and by the close England built a lead of 69 with seven wickets in hand.

South Africa won the toss and took first use of a good batting track, but never got going, losing four wickets before lunch as England's seamers took control. It was after the break that the collapse really took hold, four wickets tumbling for two runs in 28 balls. Lucy Pearson plugged away in an immaculate 16-over spell, finishing with the fine figures of 4 for 25, and Helen Wardlaw's offspinners wrapped up the tail, as South Africa were bowled out for 130.

England lost the wickets of Charlotte Edwards, Laura Newton and Clare Connor before wiping out the deficit, but all three dismissals owed more to mistakes than penetrative bowling. The in-form Claire Taylor reached 78 not out at the close, 22 runs shy of becoming only the third Englishwoman to score back-to-back Test hundreds. With Lydia Greenway, she compiled an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 82. South Africa face another hard day in the field tomorrow.