Welcome to Hove for the women’s ODI of the summer between England and South Africa. Despite the season, the weather here is eerily similar how it was an hour before the opening rubber: very gloomy. Let’s hope for England that’s where the comparisons end after their shocker at New Road, a match that was all-but over within an hour.
If the home side get knocked off again today, it will be the third time in a row they have lost a 50-over series since holding the World Cup aloft at a packed Lord’s in July last year. There is no panic in the camp as yet, per Anya Shrubsole’s words yesterday, but there might be if they cede this three-rubber contest in straight sets.
South Africa are all smiles. Their coach, Hilton Moreeng, said yesterday that it was a “near to perfect” performance from his bowlers, who reduced England to 64 for six on Saturday. With the overhead conditions today, you can be sure that Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka will be hoping to again get first with the ball.
The teams are on the field now, England limbering up some some keepy-uppy as the Proteas move into a tight huddle for a chat. The toss is scheduled for 25 minutes from now. I saw Danielle Hazell having a bowl beforehand and it wouldn’t shock me if she came into the side given how well she went in India. Who for, though? We’ll see.