England comprehensively defeated South Africa in the first of three T20s, winning by 9 wickets, as they did in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in April.
South Africa were restricted to just 89/4 in their 20 overs, which was sacrilegious - only four wickets down, but with a total that was never going to be enough against any decent side, let alone England. Opener Dane van Niekerk (36 off 54 balls) and skipper Mignon du Preez (28 off 41 balls) added 51 for the second wicket, after the early loss of Chetty to Brunt. That would have been acceptable apart from the fact that it took 70 balls, and they hit only five boundaries between them. True the England bowlers bowled well, but South Africa were timid and they will be angry with themselves that they did not post at least 30 more runs.
For England their fielding was sharp with another memorable catch diving forward from Lydia Greenway at cow corner to remove du Preez, and a sharp run out from Sciver to get rid of Lee, who had been stitched up by her skipper. All the bowlers were on the button, but South Africa kept finding the fielders.
Once again England skipper Charlotte Edwards lead the way with the bat, punishing the short ball and anything with width, hitting more fours on her own than South Africa hit in their entire innings. It was a masterclass from Edwards, more akin to a knock at the Super Threes than an international game. She never looked like she was in trouble and finished 62* off 54 balls. Sarah Taylor finished on 21* from 22 balls and looked equally at home as England romped home in the 14th over with just one wicket down.
South Africa will have to go away, lick their wounds and come out fighting on Wednesday. There is no point them playing the same way again in the next two games. They will be demolished again. They are a young side and they will have learned a lot from this game. They may not be experienced enough to turn it round, but they need to adopt a much more positive approach in the next game.
England will have learned little from this game. Brunt and Shrubsole looked more on song than they have so far this season and Knight's bowling was tight. New Zealand in February next year will be a much tougher challenge. Winfield was unluckily run out when she was accidently obstructed by bowler Moseline Daniels as she tried to take a single. It may pay to drop Edwards further down the order in the next match and perhaps get a look at Wyatt, Sciver and Knight. But with Lottie in such good form she will be loath to step aside.