Beaumont and Taylor bat England to victory

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Tammy Beaumont of England(back) celebrates her century with Sarah Taylor of England during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match between England and South Africa at The County Ground on July 5, 2017 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Tammy Beaumont of England(back) celebrates her century with Sarah Taylor of England during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match between England and South Africa at The County Ground on July 5, 2017 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor shared England’s highest-run partnership in a One-Day International (ODI) when they put together 275 for the second wicket against the Momentum Proteas at the County Ground in Bristol on Wednesday. It was also the highest partnership in the ICC Women’s World Cup and also, the second-highest in women’s ODIs, setting up a 68-run victory over the South Africans.

The pair’s sensational start, which included a combined 46 boundaries and one six, arranged England’s 373/5 after Heather Knight won the toss and elected to bat first.

It was tough going for the Proteas, with the only breakthrough coming curtesy of Moseline Daniels in the 12th over when she removed Lauren Winfield for 24 (32 balls, 4x fours). After that, it was the Beaumont and Taylor show, with the latter reaching her 147 in just 104 deliveries before Shabnim Ismail struck in the 47th. Beaumont fell an over later, departing for 148 at the hands of Marizanne Kapp.

The bowler then proceeded to strike another two times in that very over, giving onlookers a flashback to her performance in South Africa’s previous match against the West Indies, but returning with 77 conceded runs this time. England’s total became the highest in the Women’s World Cup.

South Africa put up a strong fight in reply, hitting 305/9 in their 50 overs, the highest score batting second in women’s ODI cricket. Before then, no one had successfully chased down a score above 290, a positive that the team can take forward when they begin their preparation for their next match against India in Leicester this Saturday.

Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt (67) got the innings off to a strong start with their 128-run opening stand. The former looked on track for her maiden ODI century after being dropped three times, but she was ultimately bowled out by Natalie Sciver (1/49) on 72 off 77 deliveries (7x fours, 2x sixes). Her partner scored a more sedate 67 from 103 balls, including nine fours before she was defeated by Anya Shrubsole (1/58) in the 33rd.

Other batters who put up their hand were Chloe Tryon and Mignon du Preez (43). The former scored her fastest fifty, returning a 26-ball 54 which included five fours and four sixes, as her 75-run, fifth-wicket partnership with the latter threatened for a while.

It was too big an ask in the end however, despite a cameo by Sune Luus (22 off 14). England returned a third victory in four matches, while South Africa suffered their first defeat in the same amount of matches, including a rained out encounter against New Zealand. They are now number four on the tournament log.