CHELMSFORD: Sophia Dunkley’s maiden half-century and Katherine Brunt’s career-best bowling return proved too strong for the Momentum Proteas as England secured a six-wicket triumph to win the first T20 International (T20I) at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Thursday. The win confirms the home side as the multi-format tour winners, with an unconquerable lead of 10 points to two.

Brunt led the charge with the ball, picking up her first ever T20I four-wicket haul to help restrict South Africa to 111 / 9 despite Laura Wolvaardt’s fifty before opening batter, Dunkley dispatched five fours and three sixes on her way to a match-winning knock as the English reached their target with five overs to spare. 

After being sent into bat by the home side, the Proteas Women didn’t get off to the best of starts as Lara Goodall (0) and captain Suné Luus (0) were dismissed within the opening three overs to become Brunt’s first two scalps of the game.

With South Africa on 7 / 2, opener Bosch and the in-form Wolvaardt then brought stability at the crease, combining for a 35-run stand for the third wicket before Sarah Glenn rattled Bosch’s wickets for 18.

Following the fall of Bosch, Wolvaardt continued to fight hard out in the middle despite the regular fall of wickets around her as the 23-year old reached her fourth career T20I fifty before eventually becoming the penultimate wicket to fall in the final over for a well-played 55 off 49 balls (7 fours).

The pick of the bowlers for England was undoubtedly fast bowler, Brunt who walked away with a personal best return of four for 15, well-supported by Sophie Eccleston (2 / 27) and Nat Sciver (1 / 18) as South Africa finished their innings on 111 / 9 after their allotted 20 overs.

In their reply, England made a typically flying start with the willow as Dunkley aggressively attacked the South African opening bowlers before Ayabonga Khaka removed Dunkley’s first wicket partner, Danny Wyatt for a duck in the third over. Khaka then repeated that feat two overs later to clean bowl Bryony Smith (2) to leave England 30 / 2.

Despite losing two partners at the other end, that didn’t slow down Dunkley as she found another willing ally in Sciver (13) as the pair added 39 runs for the third wicket before the latter reached a richly-deserved half-century while striking at more than 150 strike rate to set up a comfortable chase for her side.

Although Khaka and Anneke Bosch (1 / 13) managed to strike late on, England’s captain Heather Knight (24*) along with wicket-keeper Amy Jones (11*) saw the England side home in the 15th over to wrap up the victory.

Khaka’s three wickets for just 13 runs was the standout bowling performance for South Africa.

The second T20I gets underway at 14h30 local time (15h30 SAST) on Saturday, 23 July at New Road in Worcester.

Audio and video featuring Momentum Proteas batter, Laura Wolvaardt can be located here.

Momentum Proteas Tour to England Itinerary:

T20 Series –

Saturday, 23 July @ 14h30 local time – 2nd T20 – England vs South Africa (Blackfinch New Road, Worcester)

Monday, 25 July @ 18h30 local time – 3rd T20 – England vs South Africa (The Incora County Ground, Derby)

For media enquiries, please contact:

Team Media Manager – Lita Gqirana

Cell.: (+27) 76 503 9655

Email: litag@cricket.co.za


Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications


Cricket South Africa (CSA), an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is the national governing body for the sport of cricket in South Africa and administers all aspects of South African cricket, men, and women, both in the professional and amateur sphere.