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Alice Capsey said it was lovely to get her first international half-century as England’s 26-run win over South Africa put the hosts on the verge of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.
A combination of youth and experience helped England post 167-5 as 17-year-old Capsey struck 50 from 37 before Katherine Brunt, 20 years her senior, blitzed 38 off just 23 balls in a record sixth-wicket partnership of 73 with wicket-keeper Amy Jones.
That stand dug England out of a hole after they had lost three wickets for five runs in the space of just eight balls and in reply to all-rounder Capsey bowled one over for five runs as a beleaguered South Africa, who lost July’s T20 series between these sides 3-0, never looked like chasing the total and now cannot progress after labouring to 141-4 despite Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 41.
Capsey, from Guildford, said: “It is lovely to get that milestone out of the way. It was gutting [to get out straight after] especially as I’d absolutely middled it.
“I was taking the positive option and that is the message that has been given to me while I’ve been in the England camp which fits my style of play, and it is great to have that responsibility.”
This was almost certainly the first of many England half-centuries for Capsey, who bludgeoned seven fours and a six before being caught and bowled by slow left-armer Nonkululeko Mlaba, top scoring for the second game in succession after her 44 against Sri Lanka.
Given licence to express herself at No.3, Capsey showed why she is being touted as this new look side’s star and slapped South Africa’s attack all around Edgbaston just 10 days after her debut while still sporting a shiner on her right eye having top-edged a ball into her face during Saturday’s warm-up.
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Stand-in skipper Nat Sciver revealed England could be without captain Heather Knight for the duration of the Games as she continues to struggle with the hip injury that also kept her out of the opening win.
Sciver, who made 12 before taking 1-18 with the ball, said: “She’s not in such a good place. She’s better than she has been in the last few days but is still in a bit of pain with her hip.
“It’s probably going to be a bit soon for her to play against New Zealand [on Thursday], she went to see our team doctor yesterday and had another scan so is waiting on the results of that.
“I think now I’ve had a bit of a go this summer, I’m in the groove with it. I feel comfortable to lead the girls on and continue in the good work that Heather has been doing.”
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