Poor start sees England slip to ODI defeat against South Africa
Lizelle Lee hits 92 not out as visitors ease to seven-wicket win
South Africa beat England by seven wickets in the first One-Day international at New Road.
The hosts batted first and recovered from 97 for eight to post a total of 189 for nine, with Lizelle Lee starring for South Africa as they eased to victory.
Lee finished on an unbeaten 92 to lead the tourists to their total inside 46 overs.
England had struggled early on, opener Amy Jones top-scoring inside the top six with just 19 runs to her name.
They rallied later on as Katherine Brunt smashed 72 off 98 balls but it was defeat for England in the first of three ODIs.
England won the toss and elected to bat – a decision which soon looked to have backfired as the top order fell to pieces.
Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka took three wickets apiece to put South Africa in the driving seat early on.
Brunt finally showed some resilience but ran out of partners as she was left stranded on 72 not out.
South Africa, too, were caught cold at the start of their reply – Brunt again at the forefront of England’s good work as she bowled Laura Wolvaardt.
Sune Luus was stumped after some excellent work by England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor to pin South Africa back on five for two, but a 113-run stand for the third wicket proved pivotal.
Skipper Dane van Niekerk hit 58 to set her side up for victory before succumbing to the bowling of Anya Shrubsole.
But by that point the visitors were well on their way to winning the opening match, the victory secured with a maximum from the bat of Lee.