Saturday, August 9, 2008

Atkins and Taylor set record in thrashing

Sarah Taylor works the ball away during her century.

Caroline Atkins and Sarah Taylor set a new world record for a partnership in women's ODIs as England inflicted another crushing 225-run defeat on South Africa at Lord's. England's openers added 268 in a commanding display with both registering centuries and South Africa were overwhelmed, sinking for 85 in their chase.

Atkins and Taylor put the visitors to the sword despite conditions that favoured the bowlers early on. Both went along at almost identical pace, Atkins the first to three figures off 117 balls and Taylor following shortly after off 118 deliveries. For Atkins it was her maiden ODI century in her 33rd match, while for Taylor it was the second and lifted her average over 40.

Chances were few and far between for the South Africa, but they did miss one opportunity to remove Taylor in the 21st over. The opening stand went past the previous record of 258, also an opening stand, set by Reshma Gandhi and Mithali Raj, for India against Ireland back in 1999. The fun was eventually ended when Atkins was bowled by Susan Benade, but England powered on to reach 310 for 3.

South Africa never had a prayer of reaching the target and collapsed in a heap against Katherine Brunt, who claimed a career-best 5 for 25 and was on a hat-trick early in the innings.