Brilliant bowling from Nate Sciver and Katherine Brunt as young Emma Lamb scored their first international century as England won the first One Day International against South Africa Women by five wickets with 107 balls to spare at the County Ground here.
It was difficult for the England bowlers to negotiate, with Sciver taking four wickets while Brunt took three as the Proteas were bowled out for 218 in 47.4 overs. England’s massive win comes months after South Africa stopped relegation in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup semi-finals in New Zealand.
The hosts then scored the winning run in 32.1 overs, with Emma Lamb hitting 15 boundaries in her nearly 102-run knock.
Earlier, Katherine Brunt found early momentum in her return, taking 2/5 in her opening spell of five overs. Breaking South Africa’s batting order with strikes in successive overs, quickly finished with a third, beating Ayabonga Khaka’s strongholds as the hosts pressed for all 10 wickets.
Nat Sciver was not as lethal with the new ball but returned to finish the middle order with 4/59.
After missing the Test match due to injury, Chloe Tryon displayed his prowess in a commendable counterattack, smashing 13 boundaries in 88 runs off 73 balls. Running on 73/4 and losing to Laura Wolvaardt on 108/5, Tryon saved the tourists. A total collapse, with Nadine de Klerk (38) scoring 97, and taking the score past 200. The right-hander would only fall in the last five overs trying to move up an extra gear.
According to the ICC, this innings was his ninth ODI fifty and the second highest score in the format.
The England setup challenged Lamb to move up the top order, and the 24-year-old exceeded all expectations in his maiden Test with a brilliant maiden century. After losing early to Tammy Beaumont while chasing 219, Lamb dismissed aggressive Sophia Dunkley in a partnership of 78, and struck a four with Sciver, who smashed 55 off just 36 balls.
Lamb was the star, however, who completed her century with a brilliant drive. The opener eventually fell to Tumi Sekhukhune for 102, though it was all but sealed for the hosts, who took home in the 33rd over.
Brief scores: South Africa Women 218 in 47.4 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 43, Chloe Tryon 88, Nadine de Klerk 38; Nat Sciver 4/59, Katherine Brunt 3/18) lost to England 219/5 in 32.1 overs (Emma Lamb 102, Nat Sciver 55) by five wickets.