Wicket-keeper Amy Jones scored her 1,000th T20I run and said it was special to represent England on her home ground after a 26-run win over South Africa put the hosts on the verge of the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.
A combination of youth and experience helped England post 167-5 as 17-year-old Alice Capsey struck her maiden international 50 before Katherine Brunt, 20 years her senior, blitzed 38 off just 23 balls in a record sixth-wicket partnership of 73 with Jones who made 36 off the same number of balls.
That stand dug England out of a hole after they had lost three wickets for five runs in the space of just eight balls and in reply Jones stumped Tazmin Brits for 38 off Freya Kemp’s bowling.
A beleaguered South Africa, who lost July’s T20 series between these sides 3-0, never looked like getting the runs and now cannot progress after labouring to 141-4 despite Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 41.
The 29-year-old from Solihull said: “"It’s not something I’ve done in a while [batting with Brunt]. She takes it on, and she gets you up for it with the energy that she brings. She talks in between the balls and really focuses you.
"I’ve never played here for England before. To walk out for England at Warwickshire, having learned to play cricket over the road at the old Indoor School is a real special thing for me and my family. They’re local and have all been able to come - it’s been brilliant to have their support at all these games.
“It’s great for the city to have the spotlight on it. They’ve really stepped up - the locals have come out and supported us in great numbers."
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Stand-in skipper Nat Sciver revealed England could be without captain Heather Knight for the duration of the Games as she continues to struggle with the hip injury that also kept her out of the opening win over Sri Lanka.
Sciver, who made 12 before taking 1-18 with the ball, said: “She’s not in such a good place. She’s better than she has been in the last few days but is still in a bit of pain with her hip.
“It’s probably going to be a bit soon for her to play against New Zealand [on Thursday], she went to see our team doctor yesterday and had another scan so is waiting on the results of that.
“I think now I’ve had a bit of a go this summer, I’m in the groove with it. I feel comfortable to lead the girls on and continue in the good work that Heather has been doing.”
This was almost certainly the first of many England half-centuries for Capsey, who bludgeoned seven fours and a six before being caught and bowled by slow left-armer Nonkululeko Mlaba for exactly 50 off 37, top scoring for the second game in succession after her 44 against Sri Lanka.
Given licence to express herself at No.3, Capsey showed why she is being touted as this new look side’s star and slapped South Africa’s attack all around Edgbaston just 10 days after her debut and still sporting a shiner on her right eye having top-edged a ball into her face during Saturday’s warm-up.
She said: “It is lovely to get that milestone out of the way. It was gutting [to get out straight after] especially as I’d absolutely middled it.
“I was taking the positive option and that is the message that has been given to me while I’ve been in the England camp which fits my style of play, and it is great to have that responsibility.”
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