Length outside off, left alone.
That's it for our coverage of this one-off Test. Thanks for staying with us throughout. Stick with us for the rest of the tour that continues next week. On behalf of the commentary team including Alan Gardner, S Sudarshanan and Ekanth, as well as Valkerie Baynes covering the match in Taunton, I'm Peter Della Penna. Take care!
Nat Sciver has been named Player of the Match for her century: "It's been a difficult four days really but I'm really happy to be able to contribute like that to our team. Any time I get to go out there with the Three Lions on my shirt is really special. The last couple of times have been brilliant. It's just about being a bit more disciplined and trying to make good decisions throughout the innings really and then just being really tight. If the game allows, then we can up the scoring rate a little bit. We had a few ebbs and flows a couple of days ago. It was really really nice to bat with Alice [Davidson-Richards] and for her to make her debut was really special. Putting a partnership on like that when the team was in a little bit of trouble was really cool. It's really exciting to see everyone debut this week. The cap presentation took a bit longer than usual. But it's really special for the four of them to make their debut here and play a format we don't get to play much but that we love. We've got a few days off. Might go home tonight or tomorrow and try to recharge a little bit. We'll have a few training days in Loughborough which is local to me so I'm quite happy with that but I'm ready for the ODI in Northampton."
South Africa captain Sune Luus: "It was loads of fun, obviously something new for most of us but definitely something we want to do in the future. Maybe just more preparation time for us. But I think the girls had lots of fun and lots of learning that we take out of this. It was a great experience. Obviously something very new working through each session and trying to figure out what to do, but it was a great opportunity and I had lots of fun. [On Sekhukhune] I think she's trending on Facebook as The Wall of China at the moment which is really cool. But she showed a lot of us how to bat out there and how to stay patient. In terms of her career, this was a big stepping stone. She can call herself an allrounder now. It was awesome to see the girl flourish. We're obviously looking forward to the white ball [games]. Something we're used to and something we know as well. We just came off a series in Ireland where we had some ODI as well as T20 preparation. Looking forward to next week, have a couple of warm-up games and then very excited to get into it."
England captain Heather Knight: "Obviously disappointing. We really played the game in the right way. Every opportunity we had with bat and ball, we looked to take the game forward. We talked about that before the Test match and that was how we wanted to do things. I think we did that. Obviously it's a shame that the rain intervened and a shame that the conversations will be a little bit around that and the four-day vs. five-day debate rather than focusing on some brilliant debutants and brilliant innings by Nat Sciver and ADR. So that's a bit of a shame but obviously there's nothing we can do to control the weather. [When asked about her preference for four-day vs. five-day Tests] Yeah, I've given my opinion on this before. That hasn't changed. I still think five days. When we play it so rarely, I think it's important for the format to make it exciting and for it to come to a crescendo. Obviously weather has intervened in our previous three Tests and the last however many Tests have been draws. So I think it's something that needs to be looked at but like I said, I think it's important that the good things from this Test match are remembered, not just the debate around four or five days. [On the debutants] It's been so exciting to stand at first slip and see these girls tear in and show what they can do. I think it's been brilliant to see and the start of a new era. All the debutants have taken their chance. How good was Alice Davidson-Richards? The maturity that she showed in her debut innings as a Test cricketer was remarkable, in a tricky spot for us as well, she was able to turn it around with Nat and put us in a position to try and win the game. The young seamers were brilliant. I just let them loose. They've got real energy and a real spark and I thought they bowled some really good spells. And Emma Lamb looked really assured at the top of the order as well. So it's really exciting to see what they can do in an England shirt and take the opportunity. [On Nat Sciver] She's been brilliant. To see her back at her next international innings after that World Cup Final, that big hundred she scored there, to then go and get another hundred is brilliant. She went through the gears really well. She had a few tricky periods that she managed quite nicely. Again like ADR, we were 120 for 5 so for her to steer us out of that and put us in a position to win is exactly what we want from an England cricketer so I'm glad she's on our team. [On the rest of the matches on tour] We'll pick the squad in the next day or two. We'll have a weekend off. There's some tired bodies and tired minds and I think it'll hit the girls tonight. But we'll get back together next week for some white ball preparation, obviously a format both of us are very much more used to than Test cricket. But I think it'll have a similar sort of look. We want to give young players an opportunity and I think now is probably an ideal time to do that particularly in the one-day format."
5.35 pm That's all folks. Umpires have said no more play is possible. The match has ended in a draw. The rain has stopped and the skies are clear but the ground staff has told the umpires that they would not be able to get the field in a playable condition before the scheduled close and more rain is anticipated regardless at some point over the next 90 minutes.
4:50 pm: The rain's pelting down now. Valkerie says it's the heaviest we've had all match. So, this indefinite stop might be the last one of the game, unless Taunton's unpredictable weather lays out another surprise. It's back to sipping on hot beverages for now. The rain's gotten heavier ten minutes later. But like a dependable ray of sunshine, here's PDP.
Azeez: "Firstly women's test cricket matches are far and few and on top of that only 4 days. Grave injustice. Imagine if we would have one more day to play!!! " The first point's the clincher. As of now, there's no Test scheduled till next year's Ashes.
Hypocaust: "Tumi Sekhukhune (9* off 39 and 33* off 134) has batted unbeaten for 244 minutes, in partnerships totalling 193 runs across 64.5 overs."
The continued rain has the outfiled covered up. The officials, too, are standing under an umbrella. Any updates will be duly published. Sadly, the window of optimism doesn't look too open.
4:31 pm: The rain is pattering a bit more heavily. So the players are off the field again. The covers are coming on as some of the fans watch on sitting under an umbrella. The pitch is covered, the pictures look gloomy with the rain coming down steadily.
Fayaz: "Any possibilities of restarting this match again?" Yes, but they're thin.
Nick: "I really hope we get back on, so that Sekhukune has a shot at getting a 50. She's batted wonderfully. "
Cornelia: "So impressed by Tumi's calmness and concentration. She would never have had to bat this long, but she's really just being so patient. "
The rain is palpable on screen, the umpires get together and decide to continue for now. The groundstaff are ready.
Delightfull off drive meets a full ball just outside off, mid-off dives to her right but it races past her.
The drizzle has gone up a it
Length outside off, left alone.
Length outside off, defended to cover.
Full outside off, blocked to cover.
Kapp goes for the big cover drive and is beaten off a similar ball.
Length outside off, left alone.
Ecclestone drops it at slip! She walks in sadness, it looked like a length ball outside off. Sekhukhune tried to steer it with an open-faced bat but was indecisive again, there was extra bounce and Ecclestone tried to take it low to her left but it spilt out.
Sekhukhune's stuck on the crease to a back of length ball, opens the bat-face and lets the ball come on. It lands in front of the slips.
kei: "SA-W have shown some grit here. for a side that hasnt played a test match in a long while now, they have shown the kind of mentality required for this format. Sekhukhune, you have my respect"
Angles in sharply again, it's a fullish ball that's clipped towards midwicket.
Banana ball comes in sharply on a good length at fourth stump. Sekhukhune lets it go.
Yorker on middle and off is jammed off the inside half of the slightly open-faced bat to the bowler. It was not as full as the batter expected.
Full outside off, pushed to cover.
Around the wicket with all of five slips, a gully, and a short leg.
The umbrellas are open among a couple of spectators but the umpires are willing to continue play.
Daz: "South Africa creeping towards safety?"
Length ball around off is blocked back to the bowler.
Full around the stumps, defended in front.
Full on the stumps, defends it back to the bowler.
Overpitched on middle and leg, punched off the front foot through mid-on for four.
Another imperious cover drive, this with a farther lunge and a greater follow-through. It was in the gap and there was no stopping that.
Cracking drive finds mid-off. It was on the up, the ball was on a good length outside off.
Over the wicket. Three slips in.
Pitched up, defended in front.
|The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton|
|Toss||England Women, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||WTEST no. 144|
|Match days||27,28,29,30 June 2022 - day (4-day match)|
Nadine de Klerk
|Points||South Africa Women 2, England Women 2|