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Cricket - 08. February 2016.

Weather fails to stop England Cricketers in opener

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England women dodged the rain and lightning in Benoni to open their one-day international series against South Africa with a seven-wicket Duckworth-Lewis win in Mark Robinson's first competitive game as Head Coach.

Chasing a revised victory target of 150 in 35 overs due to the elements, having dismissed the Proteas for 196 followingAnya Shrubsole's four-wicket haul, the tourists raced to victory with 39 balls to spare.

Sarah Taylor, playing her 99th ODI, and vice-captain Heather Knight guided England home either side of a stoppage with 41 and 26 respectively in an unbroken stand of 52.

Amy Jones got England's pursuit off to a fast start by hitting Shabnim Ismail for three fours in the fifth over.

Sarah Taylor, playing her 99th ODI, leads England home with an unbeaten 41 in BenoniSarah Taylor, playing her 99th ODI, leads England home with an unbeaten 41 in Benoni

She lost opening partner Lauren Winfield, who was well caught at first slip off Marizanne Kapp for 10, but Jones found the boundary three more times in a 27-ball 34 before pulling Chloe Tryon to short midwicket.

England were 63 for two in the 14th over when rain took the players off the field, a delay that saw their target cut to 194 off 48 overs.

Experienced skipper Charlotte Edwards looked in good touch at number three, hitting five fours, until she dragged on Marcia Letsoalo for 33 from 57 balls.

After lightning delayed proceedings for nearly an hour with England 120 for three in 25 overs, Taylor and Knight returned to knock off the remaining 30 runs and fire Robinson's side into a 1-0 lead in a three-match series that is important in their quest to climb the ICC Women's Championship table. 

Shrubsole took 4-29 from her 10 overs as England fought back strongly after South Africa had initially justified their decision to bat on a flat pitch.

Taylor congratulates Heather Knight on claiming the key wicket of Trisha Chetty for 90
Taylor congratulates Heather Knight on claiming the key wicket of Trisha Chetty for 90

Opener Trisha Chetty benefited from two drops off Katherine Brunt, who is still one wicket away from 100 in ODI cricket, to make 90 and skipper Mignon du Preez compiled 38 as the hosts threatened a big score when they reached 119 for one.

But Shrubsole, having earlier trapped opener Laura Wolfvaardt lbw with a hooping inswinger, returned to the attack with devastating effect.

The 24-year-old Somerset seamer had Du Preez caught at midwicket by Knight, trapped Kapp leg-before with an inswinger first ball, and bowled Lizelle Lee for 12 to reduce the hosts to 137 for four.

Jenny Gunn had Dane van Niekerk held by Edwards for 11 and Knight caught-and-bowled Tryon for a duck, before snaring the key wicket of Chetty, who was caught behind by Taylor 10 runs shy of what would have been a maiden international century.

Rebecca Grundy had Ismail taken by Winfield at mid-on for one, Edwards ran out Letsoalo with a direct-hit and Gunn bowled Sune Luus with the second ball of the final over as South Africa failed to reach 200.

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