TELFORD VICE in London
SOUTH Africa’s women’s World Cup bubble burst with a bang in their match against England in Bristol on Wednesday.
The South Africans, who had gone into the game unbeaten after two wins and a washout, lost by 68 runs in the wake of the home side’s stupendous exploits with the bat.
Only seven times in one-day internationals have a team made more than England’s total of 373/5, and the 275 that Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor shared was a world record for the second wicket and the second-biggest stand for any wicket.
Beaumont, who scored 148, and Taylor, who made 147, were together for 34.5 overs.
Twenty-two fours and a six cracked off Beaumont’s bat and Taylor hit 24 fours, and they faced 145 and 104 balls.
It was a brutal assault on a flat pitch against an attack that, in Leicester on Sunday, dispatched West Indies in stunning fashion for 48.
South Africa needed what would have been a world-record chase to win, and their none too shabby reply of 305/9 was their third-highest total and their best effort away from home.
It was solidly founded on a first-wicket partnership of 128 shared by Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee that endured into the 26th over.
But their openers’ separation was the start of a spiral of nine wickets for 176 runs in which a fifth-wicket stand of 75 between Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon was their only noteworthy partnership.
Wolvaardt made 67, Lee 72 and Tryon 54 — which she drilled off 26 balls with five fours and four sixes.
Even a charitable display by England’s fielders, who dropped four catches, couldn’t put South Africa in sight of victory.
South Africa are likely to need at least one more win from their remaining three matches to remain in with a shout of reaching the semi-finals.
Powerhouses India and Australia are among their opponents, but the other team the South Africans have yet to play — Sri Lanka — could be their best chance of staying alive.