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Taylor and Beaumont blast England back to winning ways

Centuries from Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont helped England draw level with South Africa in the Women's ODI series with one match still to play.
Sarah Taylor

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England bounced back from a chastening defeat in the first match of their ODI series against South Africa with a commanding 69-run victory over South Africa at Hove. 

Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont were the stars with the bat for the hosts, each hitting aggressive centuries and sharing a second-wicket partnership of 156 to set a platform for an imposing total of 331/6. 

It was a welcome return to form for Beaumont who finished as the leading run-scorer at last year's ICC Women's Cricket World Cup but had failed to register a century in the format since hitting 148 against the same opposition last July. The diminutive right-hander put on 71 for the first wicket with Amy Jones (29) and then put her foot on the gas in combination with Taylor, who played some sublime shots on her way to a seventh ODI ton. 

Tammy Beaumont was back to form with a bang
Tammy Beaumont was back to form with a bang


Taylor and Beaumont had shared a stand of 275 against the same opposition in last year's World Cup encounter at Bristol and they rubbed more salt into the wounds as South Africa's much-vaunted attack struggled to find their line and length. 

Beaumont hit 12 fours and a six on her way to 101 from 138 balls, while Taylor was even more dominant, hitting 13 boundaries in her knock of 118 from 133 deliveries. 

Heather Knight (24) and Danni Wyatt (20) made useful contributions to carry England to a total that would take some chasing. 

Given the size of the task in hand, the visitors began in curiously slow fashion, with Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt meandering their way to 53 without loss in 15 overs. 

However, when Lee brought up her half-century, from 69 balls, she opened her shoulders and showed her full range of strokes. It took the big-hitting right-hander, who has now passed 50 in five of her last six ODI knocks, just 22 deliveries to move from her fifty to a second ODI hundred – and the third of the match for the first time in a women's ODI – and while she was still at the crease the South Africans remained very much in the game. 

Lizelle Lee continued her excellent recent form
Lizelle Lee continued her excellent recent form


Katherine Brunt had finally broken the opening stand on 142 when Wolvaardt (32) holed out in the deep to Jones and England continued to chip away, with 19-year-old spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3/54) turning the screw. 

It was Georgia Elwiss, however, who claimed the vital wicket of Lee, who had earlier hit her for a glorious straight six, and from there England looked on course for victory, despite some heavy hitting from Chloe Tryon (44 from 31) causing a few nerves in the home camp. 

Brunt rounded off the victory, dismissing Ayabonga Khaka to finish with figures of 2/34 and set up a mouth-watering finale to the series at Canterbury on 15 June. 

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