August 6, 2003

England Under-21s dent South African preparations

South Africa women saw a narrow victory over ECB Women's Development XI followed by a comprehensive defeat by England U21 Development XI in their second limited overs warm-up match ahead of the first npower Women's Test match against England at Shenley.

South Africa won the toss and batted first against an ECB U21 Development XI at Marston Cricket Club in Oxford - the tourists reaching 167 for eight from their 50 overs, with captain Alison Hodgkinson top-scoring with 56.

She was assisted by Shandre Fritz, who made 23 from 25 balls before being run out. Some economical bowling, in particular from Steph Davies (Somerset) who returned 3-32 and Sarah Clarke (Surrey) 2-30, restricted South Africa.

In reply, Arran Thompson led the chase with an unbeaten 84 to secure a seven-wicket victory for the England U21 team, as they reached 168 for three from 45 overs. South Africa left arm spinner Charlize Van Der Westhuizen took 2-32.

The match followed a 10-run victory for South Africa the previous day at Marston against ECB Women's Development XI. After their defeat to the newly crowned Frizzell Women's County Champions Sussex the previous week, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat.

They reached 179 all out in the final over, with the young Surrey spinner Sarah Clarke taking three wickets for 25 runs from her 10 over spell. Clarke's excellent bowling was assisted by some high class fielding from the ECB team, including three smart catches by fellow spinner Laura Harper.

South Africa's highest scorer was right-hander Josie Barnard, who scored 31. Barnard, from Western Province, made her debut for South Africa last year against India.

In reply, England reached 169 for nine off the last ball of the innings with Yorkshire's Kathryn Doherty finishing the match on 42 not out. The ECB team rallied from 105 for eight, with a fine ninth wicket stand of 64 between Doherty and Jenny Gunn (22). Arran Thompson, the Lancashire captain, made 24 opening the ECB batting.

South Africa's leg spinner, Leighshe Jacobs, took 3-18 from 10 overs.