Birch canes South Africa
England 254 for 9 (Edwards 81) beat South Africa 216 (Logtenberg 76, Birch 5-50) by 38 runs
Charlotte Edwards made 81, and Rosalie Birch produced a fine allround performance with 5 for 50 and 42 not out, as England's women sealed the five-match one-day series against South Africa in emphatic fashion.
After losing a thrilling opening match by one wicket, England stormed to victory in the remaining four games, wrapping the series up with a 38-run win at Potchefstroom. After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, England rattled up an imposing total of 254 for 9, and though South Africa were given a sniff of victory by their prolific 15-year old, Johmari Logtenberg, they fell away badly after a wretched collapse.
With Laura Newton playing the anchor role, England added 95 for their first wicket and had reached 141 for 2 when the innings hit a rocky patch. First Clare Connor was stumped off Charlize van der Westhuizen for 4, and then Edwards and Lydia Greenway were run out in quick succession. Arran Brindle's cheap dismissal made it 176 for 6, but Birch caned the South African bowlers for three fours and a six in her 38-ball innings.
South Africa began their reply steadily, but when Logtenberg began to cut loose, they were looking capable of a pride-salvaging victory. Birch, however, came into the attack to twirl through the innings. First she bowled Alison Hodgkinson for 21, and then, when Logtenberg had fallen to Connor for 76 from 73 balls, she carved through the tail, as five wickets fell for 10 runs. The No. 11, Ashlyn Kilowan, restored some pride by hoofing a six, but England had already made sure of their win.