Sarah Taylor’s return to the middle after her time away from the game to deal with personal issues is one of the most inspiring stories in cricket.
Against Sri Lanka, the wicketkeeper-batter showed she was back in touch with a stellar half-century. On Wednesday against South Africa, against one of the best bowing attacks in the tournament, she did one better to bring up a memorable century.
A typically cheeky ramp shot had taken her to 98, and a single had put her on 99. Then, off the final ball of the 39th over, bowled by Marizanne Kapp, Taylor manoeuvred the ball around her legs for another single to bring up an emotional hundred.
The milestone was met with a standing ovation from her team-mates and fans around the ground, and the batter celebrated with a smile and a hug with her partner. Nobody present would have missed the significance of the moment.
Taylor had got to the mark in 80 balls, and went on to explode in a series of five consecutive boundaries. Her final analysis in England’s 68-run win was a career-best 147 off 104 balls, with 24 boundaries.