SA collapse to give England series
England Women 141 for 3 (Edwards 75*) beat South Africa Women 99 (van Niekerk 34, Gunn 3-13) by 42 runs
For two-thirds of this match South Africa produced a better account of themselves at Wantage Road than they had done in the opening game, but England were ultimately too strong as they secured the series on the back of another captain's innings from Charlotte Edwards and three wickets from Jenny Gunn when the visitors had set themselves up in the chase.
After opting to tackle the match from the opposite way round - batting, rather than bowling, first - Edwards' unbeaten 75 off 61 balls led England to a solid 141 for 3 but while there were 20 fours in total, 11 of them coming from Edwards, the sixes tally stood at zero and having been 98 for 2 after 15 overs the home side could have expected greater acceleration.
South Africa made a lively start to their reply and were marginally ahead on the comparisons after the Powerplay - 46 for 1 against England's 44 without loss - but from 71 for 2 in the 13th over they lost 8 for 28 to mean they again fell short of three figures.
Katherine Brunt had started the innings with a no-ball and the subsequent free hit was top-edged for four by Dane van Niekerk who, having earlier bowled her legspin neatly, collect five boundaries in the Powerplay.
England knew they were in a contest this time and were relieved when Mignon du Preez picked out deep midwicket off Danielle Hazell and it was the spinners who regained control. The first three overs after the fielding restrictions went for just nine and Hazell completed her four overs for 17 as the asking rate started to head towards 10 an over.
Having reached 25 at a run-a-ball, van Niekerk made nine her next 21 deliveries before she was superbly caught in the deep by Brunt. That gave Gunn her first wicket and in her next over she tripled that tally in the space of two deliveries to end the chances of a late push for the line by South Africa.
There were some cheap wickets at the end as South Africa swished and missed, providing the chance for Sarah Taylor to put on fine exhibition of glovework especially with the stumpings off Anya Shrubsole and Brunt.
The foundation for England's innings was laid by an opening stand of 45 between Edwards and Lauren Winfield, both players producing crisp straight drives, before Winfield was stumped having dragged her back foot out of the crease trying to sweep.
Taylor chipped to mid-off for another unfulfilled innings but Edwards' fifty arrived a short while later from 45 balls, her four consecutive international half-century. Back-to-back boundaries at the end of 16th over appeared to signal a final surge from England but it did not quite emerge that way as South Africa held their nerve, keeping the last four overs to 32 runs. Ultimately, though, they did not have the depth of batting or calmness to force an upset.