Knight disappointed with bowling display

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Heather Knight admitted an off-day with the ball cost England the chance to wrap up the Twenty20 international series against South Africa with a game to spare.

The tourists, 1-0 ahead in the three-match rubber following yesterday’s victory in Paarl, struggled to contain the Proteas in their chase of 157 at Newlands.

South Africa, boosted by Dane van Niekerk’s 63, comfortably advanced to 145 for three in 17.2 overs, leaving 12 runs required from 16 balls when rain ended the match prematurely.

The hosts therefore completed their first sprint-format victory over England, by 17 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method, to level the series ahead of Sunday’s decider in Johannesburg.

“We would have backed ourselves at half-time to defend that score, but unfortunately we were not quite good enough with the ball,” vice-captain Knight told ecb.co.uk.

“We have been really good with the ball over the last few games, but unfortunately today we were not quite there. Credit to South Africa.

Sarah Taylor drives through the off-side during her second half-century in as many days

“That innings from Dane really put us under pressure early, she came hard at us, and won them the game.

“It is going to be a big game on Sunday, obviously both teams will be looking to get a series win.

“Leading into the World Cup, we want to get a little bit of momentum and put in a good performance. It is set up very nicely.”

The in-form Sarah Taylor helped England post 156 for six after losing the toss, hitting a second successive half-century.

Taylor shared stands of 61 and 63 with Charlotte Edwards and Knight, who added 34 and 29 respectively, during her impressive knock of 66 off 52 balls.

Knight struck two fours and the only six of the innings during her cameo, continuing her impressive form on this tour.

“I am enjoying it at the moment. I enjoyed batting out there with Sarah. She was outstanding again,” Knight said.

“I was just trying to get her on strike at one point and watch her from the other end. It is great to see her doing so well.

“It is nice to contribute a bit as well, although it would have been nice to get a few more and push that score up by another 10-15 runs.”

Knight also proved her all-round talent by taking on an unfamiliar new-ball role with Anya Shrubsole, sending down three overs of off-spin for just 18 runs.

“It has been a while since I have opened the bowling, a couple of years, but it is nice,” she said. “We have got a lot of people who can bowl in that powerplay.

“I don’t think I have ever opened with Anya before, so that is a new one, but Twenty20 cricket is part and parcel to bowl with that new ball.

“You certainly feel the pressure in that powerplay, it is really exciting and it is something I enjoy doing.”


Source: ECB

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