SA too strong for women's world champs England

Shabnim Ismail (Gallo)
Shabnim Ismail (Gallo)

London - South Africa's bowlers laid the platform for a comprehensive seven wicket win over women's world champions England in the first one-day international at Worcester on Saturday.

Last year, South Africa suffered a heart-breaking World Cup semi-final loss to tournament hosts England, who won by just two wickets with two balls left in Bristol before defeating India in a dramatic final at a packed-out Lord's.

But there was no repeat on Saturday as England - who won the toss - slumped to 97 for eight.

South Africa seamers Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka took three wickets apiece.

Katherine Brunt, however, ensured she and her fellow England bowlers would have some sort of target to defend by making 72 off 98 balls as the home side rallied to 189 for nine.

But Lizelle Lee's unbeaten 92 sealed South Africa's victory in the first of this three-match series.

South Africa also suffered a collapse at five for two.

Brunt bowled Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus was sharply stumped by England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor.

But a third-wicket stand of 113 between opener Lee and South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk (58) all but put the result beyond doubt.

Lee faced 128 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes.

Victory gave South Africa a second sporting triumph against England on Saturday after the Springboks, the men's rugby union team, beat their English visitors 42-39 at Johannesburg in the first of a three-Test series.

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