England Partnership

Record partnership turns Test in England's favour

England v South Africa, Test Match, Talking Points

Hit For Six!
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England's best ever partnership for the sixth wicket in Women's Test cricket moved the hosts into the ascendancy after day two in Taunton.

Sciver and Davidson-Richards turn the tide

Sat perilously at 121/5, England were perhaps one wicket away from disaster in the middle session, though South Africa were unable to find a way to make the breakthrough to expose the home tail.

Joining Nat Sciver was Alice Davidson-Richards, who was watchful early, scoring just nine runs in her first 45 deliveries, before moving into her work with a boundary off the bowling of Nonkululeko Mlaba.

Video cwc19 30 Mar 22
Highlights: Best of Nat Sciver | CWC22

Carrying on from the form earlier in the year at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup that solidified her credentials as a world class batter in the women's game, Sciver was in ominous form, hitting 15 boundaries in a maiden Test century.

Davidson-Richards was equally as imperious, striking 17 fours in her knock and bringing up a century of her own. The pair put on 207 before Davidson-Richards fell on the last ball of the day, a record for England for the sixth wicket and second only to Jodie Fields and Rachael Haynes' stand of 229 back in 2009.

Anneke Bosch the pick of the bowlers for South Africa

Earlier, it looked as if South Africa had opened the door to a first innings hit-back with the ball as Anneke Bosch made inroads.

Despite coming on as a second-change bowler, Bosch was able to move the ball in the air as well as off the seam, trapping Tammy Beaumont lbw for 28 and beating the defences of Emma Lamb.

After claiming both openers, Bosch tempted Sophia Dunkley into a drive with a fuller delivery, with the outside edge taken by Andrie Steyn.

Bosch finished the day with 3/59 off 15 overs, and could well be the bowler entrusted to take an early wicket on day three.

Can England make the most of the momentum?

Following two tense draws to India and Australia in the last year, England’s first innings at Taunton puts them in a strong position for a long-awaited Test victory.

The big question though could be how they attack on day three, and how hard they want to push in the opening session through Sciver.

Leading by 44 runs, Sciver will no doubt attack while batting with the bowlers, with Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross more than capable to hang around at the other end.

A Sciver flurry would likely lead to questions of a potential declaration for Heather Knight, with their quest for ten South Africa wickets to begin at some stage on day three.

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