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Alice Davidson-Richards savours debut century as England take upper hand

Alice Davidson-Richards admitted scoring a Test century on debut was “bloody brilliant” (David Davies/PA)
Alice Davidson-Richards admitted scoring a Test century on debut was “bloody brilliant” (David Davies/PA)

Alice Davidson-Richards admitted scoring a Test century on debut was “bloody brilliant” as Nat Sciver also hit a maiden ton in the format to take England to 328 for six against South Africa.

Davidson-Richards hit 107 in the LV= Insurance Test at Taunton before being caught at point from the final ball of day two as she became the first England cricketer, male or female, since WG Grace to score a century and take a wicket on Test debut – Jamie Overton having missed out by three runs last week for the men’s team against New Zealand.

The Surrey Stars player was guided by her former school and hockey team-mate Sciver, who played a well-crafted unbeaten 119 to guide England out of trouble after they slipped to 121 for five.

They finished the day with a 44-run lead and for Davidson-Richards, who last represented her country in 2018, it was a dream come true.

“It was bloody brilliant,” she said.

“It means quite a lot having Nat there. (From) when we started driving up to Loughborough however many years ago to being out there playing a Test match together is really, really special.”

Sciver added: “I’m really glad to make it to the end of the day and also to be ahead of (South Africa’s) first-innings score is brilliant, and I’m also very happy for Alice.”

England have not won a Test match since 2014, or since 2005 on home soil, but have put themselves into a good position in Somerset and Sciver wants to push for victory.

“There were comments that didn’t support women’s Test matches that isn’t something that we agree with, so we are playing in the limelight after that comment a little bit and we want to push for a result,” said the England vice-captain.

Anneke Bosch, right, celebrates the wicket of Sophia Dunkley
Anneke Bosch, right, celebrates the wicket of Sophia Dunkley (David Davies/PA)

Anneke Bosch was the pick of the South Africa bowlers and finished the day with three for 59, although she admitted it was a difficult day.

“I think that last wicket at the end helped the feeling a little bit. I think everyone was a bit on a high after that, just closing the day off on a wicket,” Bosch said.

“I think it would have been worse coming off if we couldn’t get that last wicket and break that partnership.

“I’m proud of the team for starting the way we did and getting a couple of quick wickets but then unfortunately we let it go a bit towards the end and that partnership between Nat and Alice really kind of made it very difficult for us, but like I said luckily tomorrow morning there will be a new batter.”