England women v South Africa women – 3rd One-Day International, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
England women won the toss and elected to field
South Africa women – 196-9 (Lizell Lee 74, Anya Shrubsole 3-35)
England women – 198-5 (Heather Knight 67*, Georgia Elwiss 61)
England women won by 5 wickets
Heather Knight and Georgia Elwiss kept their cool to steer England women to a series-clinching five-wicket win over South Africa in the third one-day international at Johannesburg.
Knight and Elwiss shared a 97-run fifth-wicket stand that broke the back of the chase after Anya Shrubsole’s 3-35 had helped restrict South Africa to 196 for nine.
Lizelle Lee crashed 74 from 77 balls for the hosts and while England lost early wickets captain Charlotte Edwards produced a calming hand of 29 before Knight and Elwiss took over with half-centuries.
Elwiss’ fifty was her first in ODIs and while she fell with nine runs needed her performance was rich reward after the 24-year-old all-rounder was drafted in for her first game of the series, replacing Lydia Greenway who had been struggling with a slight calf niggle.
Knight was named player of the match and player of the series after her unbeaten 67 followed figures of 2-36 which drew her level at the top of the ICC Women’s Championship wicket-taker’s list.
England’s victory moves them level on points with fourth-placed South Africa in the ICC’s Women’s Championship table and confirmed a winning start for new Head Coach Mark Robinson.
The five-wicket defeat in the second game set the stage for a series decider and England made two changes with Kate Cross replacing the injured Katherine Brunt in addition to Elwiss’ call up.
Cross combined effectively with Shrubsole to give England their best new-ball start of the series.
Shrubsole struck with just the fourth delivery, finding the outside edge of Laura Wolfvaart, and while England had to wait until the 17th over for a second breakthrough they would be rewarded for keeping tight lines.
Mignon du Preez and Trisha Chetty combined in a 57-run stand which was ended when Elwiss bowled the South Africa captain in her first over and prompted a collapse of five for 28.
Cross deservedly got a wicket to reflect her performance when Jenny Gunn expertly held a steepling catch running backwards to dismiss Chetty before Shrubsole struck in successive overs.
Lee was left with the lower-order but batted superbly to reach her seventh ODI half-century and combined in an 80-run stand with leg-spinner Sune Luus. Knight broke the stand when Amy Jones held a sharp catch to remove Luus.
Knight then bowled Shabnim Ismail to draw level with West Indies’ off-spinner Anisa Mohammed with 20 wickets in the Women’s Championship wicket-taker list.
In between Lee was caught on the rope by Gunn off Danni Wyatt as England kept South Africa in check late on.
England’s chase got off to a sprightly start as Lauren Winfield and Jones put on 30 in as many balls before the loss of three wickets for eight runs.
At 38 for three cool heads were required and the experience of Edwards and Knight took hold in a 53-run stand that took the wind out of South Africa’s sails.
There was still plenty of work to be done when Edwards departed, caught by Luus off Ayabonga Khaka, but Elwiss showed her class in an impressive partnership with Knight.
Elwiss was free-flowing as her 61 came from 67 balls and included six fours and a six while Knight’s half-century was more sedate from 84 balls. It was no less important and while Elwiss was bowled by Ismail with the finish line in sight, Knight made sure she remained until the end, alongside Wyatt, to ensure a series win that gets England’s World Cup qualification campaign back on track.
Report courtesy of the ECB
Photo above Anya Shrubsole by Don Miles