Taylor knock not enough for England

Sarah Taylor’s second successive half-century proved in vain as South Africa set up a Twenty20 international series decider with England on Sunday courtesy of a 17-run Duckworth-Lewis victory at Newlands.

The wicketkeeper-batter followed yesterday’s unbeaten 74 with a brilliant 66 from 52 deliveries to lift the tourists to 156 for six after the Proteas opted to bowl in overcast conditions.

But Dane Van Niekerk’s fifty laid a platform that Mignon du Preez built on with an unbeaten 47 to ensure South Africa, on 145 for three, were ahead of the rate with 16 runs needed from 12 balls when the rain arrived for a second time. 

The hosts’ victory, their first over England in the sprint format, squares the three-match series at 1-1 and makes Sunday’s clash at the Wanderers in Johannesburg a winner-takes-all.Sarah Taylor produces an innovative sweep during another high-quality innings from the England number three

Number three Taylor’s 12th T20I fifty, compiled from 43 balls, included a series of innovative sweeps and she hit eight of her side’s 18 fours.

The 26-year-old was fortunate to stay at the crease on two occasions, though, seeing the bails fail to dislodge when diverting a reverse-sweep back onto her stumps before she was dropped on 36.

Taylor and skipper Charlotte Edwards overcame the early dismissal of Tammy Beaumont, caught at second slip driving Moseline Daniels, with a high-quality stand of 61 in 42 balls.

Taylor found the boundary three times in five balls and Edwards drove three consecutive full deliveries from the expensive Masabata Klaas to the rope as runs flowed freely in the six-over powerplay.

Sune Luus checked England’s progress with wickets from the opening ball of her first two overs, Edwards bowled for 22-ball 34 reverse-sweeping and Amy Jones clubbing a return catch to the spinner.

Heather Knight smacked two fours and the only six during a stand of 63 with Taylor but holed out in the deep for 29 off Shabnim Ismail, making her 50th T20 appearance, while Danni Wyatt added late impetus by crashing 17 from 12 balls.

Taylor was run out following a fine throw from the deep before Jenny Gunn fell in identical fashion as England searched for late runs.

Van Niekerk and Trisha Chetty got the Proteas’ chase off to a solid start by adding 30 inside four overs until the latter was run-out following a mix-up.

Van Niekerk punished England for dropping her twice, on seven and 22, by smashing seven fours and two sixes off Gunn. 

She made fifty off just 34 balls and shared a second-wicket stand of 68 with skipper Du Preez.

However, Van Niekerk walked past a flighted Rebecca Grundy ball and was stumped by Taylor for 63 off 43 balls to give England a chance. 

Du Preez and Marizanne Kapp, dropped by Jones on 11, allied fears of another collapse like yesterday by sharing a third-wicket stand of 46, either side of the first stoppage for rain, to take the Proteas to the brink.

Georgia Elwiss removed Kapp lbw for 21 before the elements returned with the Proteas in a winning position on the D/L method.

Source: ECB

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