Sophia Dunkley helps England seal ODI series victory with maiden century

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England’s Sophia Dunkley celebrates her century against South Africa (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)
England’s Sophia Dunkley celebrates her century against South Africa (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Sophia Dunkley’s maiden hundred for England helped inflict a crushing 114-run defeat on South Africa in Bristol to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day international series.

Dunkley made the most of her recent promotion to number three to smash 107 from 93 balls with Tammy Beaumont, Emma Lamb and Nat Sciver also hitting half-centuries.

It helped England post 337 for five and Charlie Dean’s four-fer ensured South Africa fell well short of their target with the tourists dismissed for 223 at the end of the 41st over to give Heather Knight’s side victory in the ODI series.

Beaumont (58) and Lamb (67) took centre stage at the start of the day-nighter with both passing fifty in a century stand for the first wicket before Chloe Tyron sent them back to the pavilion.

It brought Dunkley to the crease and she continued her remarkable rise since her international debut last year with a 142-run partnership for the third wicket alongside Sciver, who struck a rapid 63 off 47 balls.

With the innings coming to a close and 300-mark already hit, Dunkley seized her moment in the 48th over with a leg-side boundary followed by a single into the on-side to bring up a memorable first three figures in England colours.

South Africa made a strong start in pursuit of 338 at the County Ground and with experienced duo Kate Cross and Katherine Brunt rested for this match, the onus was on ODI debutants Issy Wong and Lauren Ball.

Laura Wolvaardt took the attack to England initially and blitzed her way to 55 before Dean had her and the rest of the top-order in a spin.

Dean claimed four for 53 and Wong provided able support with three for 36.

Sophie Ecclestone brought any faint South African hopes to an end when she dismissed Marizanne Kapp following an entertaining 73 and concluded proceedings soon after to secure an emphatic win.

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