Sophie Ecclestone smashed an unbeaten 33 off 12 and picked 2 for 24 as England defeated South Africa in the third T20I by 38 runs on July 25.
England women dominated their South African counterparts for the entirety of the all-format tour, not letting the visitors take one win off them. England capped off the series with a convincing 38-run victory at Derby in the final T20I before they head to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games.
Ecclestone hammered 33* off just 12 balls to take the team total to 176/6 in 20 overs. The left-arm spinner then returned two for 24 in her four overs as they successfully defended the target.
Batting first, England lost Sophia Dunkley off the very first delivery of the match, bowled by Nonkululeko Mlaba. Danni Wyatt (30 off 25) and Alice Capsey (25 off 17) then added 41 runs for the second wicket. Nat Sciver, leading the side in the absence of Heather Knight, could only score a run-a-ball 24 while Amy Jones stroked 28 off 18.
England were 137/6 with 13 balls to go and 155-160 looked like a good finish. Ecclestone had other things in mind as she blasted 26 runs off the last over by Masabata Klaas, hitting two sixes and three fours in the over. Mlaba was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa, snaring 3 for 22 in four overs.
Chasing the target, the visitors could not match the required run-rate at any stage. Tazmin Brits was the top scorer of the match with 59, but it took her 57 deliveries, and it was never going to be good enough. Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Freya Kemp were excellent with the ball for the hosts. Kemp picked 2 for 18 in three over on her international debut while Glenn claimed 1 for 23 in her quota of four overs.
Earlier in the T20I series, England defeated South Africa women by six wickets in the first game. Katherine Brunt was sensational with the ball, picking 4 for 15 in four overs as they restricted the opponents for just 111/9. Dunkley then hammered 59 off 39 with five fours and three sixes as they chased down the target with five overs to spare.
The second T20I was the most competitive of the three games, where England overcame by six wickets. Anneke Bosch made 61 off 57 while Lara Goodall scored 42 off 34 as the Proteas women managed 148/6 in 20 overs. Wyatt smashed 39 off just 24 balls to give England a good start. Sciver made a 41-ball 47 in the middle order. Amy Jones and Maia Bouchier then finished the game off with one over to spare.
England won the all-format series with a points scoreline of 14-2, having swept SA in both white-ball series by 3-0 along with a drawn Test. Both the teams now head to Birmingham, where they will compete in an eight-team T20 tournament at the Commonwealth Games, starting from July 29. It’s the first time ever that women’s cricket will feature at a multi-sport world event. England have adopted an attacking approach that could give Australia a tough challenge for the gold medal honours, with India and New Zealand also amongst the favourites.