Anya Shrubsole highlighted the importance of England starting their one-day international series against South Africa strongly as they attempt to climb the ICC Women’s Championship.
The seamer was influential in helping her side advance into a 1-0 lead in Benoni today, returning figures of 4-29 in a seven-wicket Duckworth-Lewis win.
With a victory worth two points, England moved level with fourth-placed South Africa in the Women’s Championship table and know a series whitewash would elevate them to third.
And player-of-the-match Shrubsole was delighted to get the tour, Mark Robinson’s first in charge, off to a flying start.
“I was really pleased with how I bowled but most importantly we have got a win on the board to kick-start this tour,” she told ecb.co.uk.
“We are not in the table where we want to be, in the ICC Women’s Championship, so these three games are massively important to get points on the board. We started well today.”
Shrubsole bowled England back into the match during a devastating second spell after South Africa had won the toss and reached 119 for one.
The 24-year-old, having trapped opener Laura Wolfvaardt lbw with a big inswinger, returned to take three more wickets and leave the Proteas 137 for four.
Shrubsole’s new-ball opening partner Katherine Brunt was left frustrated in her quest for 100 ODI wickets, denied the milestone on two occasions as South Africa opener Trisha Chetty was given lives during her career-best innings of 90.
But Shrubsole said: “Katherine is a world-class bowler and you don’t keep her down for many games. She was unlucky today, a couple of dropped chances, but I’m sure she will get her 100th in the next game.”
On Chetty’s knock, she added: “She played a superb knock, possibly deserved her hundred there, but we are going to have to make sure we keep bowling well at her throughout the series to keep her quiet.”
England’s initial chase of 197 was hampered by rain and then lightning, the second stoppage cutting their target to 150 from 35 overs, but their new-look batting line-up coasted home with 37 balls unused.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 7, 2016
After Winfield departed for 10, Jones struck a rapid 34 and Edwards made 33 before Taylor and Knight guided their side home with an unbroken stand of 52.
“Everyone out there looked pretty good, while they probably didn’t get the runs they wanted, but we are looking to be nice and positive up top there with Lauren and Amy,” Shrubsole said.
“They got us off to a good start and then the experience got us home.
“We were always ahead of the rate, ahead of the game, with the batting so we were never thrown too much when the overs got reduced.
“Like the experience with those girls, they will have done it all before, so it was good to get the win.”
— Kate Cross (@katecross16) February 7, 2016