Alice Davidson-Richards admitted scoring a Test century on debut was “damn brilliant” as Nat Sciver also hit a first barrel in the format to take England to 328 for six against South Africa.
Davidson-Richards hit 107 in the LV=Insurance Test in Taunton before being caught on the point from the last ball of day two as she became the first English cricketer, male or female, since WG Grace to score and take a wicket for a century on Test debut – Jamie Overton missed three runs for the men’s team against New Zealand last week.
The Surrey Stars player was coached by her former school and hockey team-mate Sciver, who played a well-made unbeaten 119 to get England out of trouble after they slipped to 121 for five.
They finished the day with a 44-point lead and for Davidson-Richards, who last represented her country in 2018, it was a dream come true.
“It was damn brilliant,” she said.
“It means a lot to have Nat around. (From the moment we started driving to Loughborough, but many years ago to play a test match there together is really special.”
Sciver added: “I’m very happy to have made it to the end of the day and it’s also great to be ahead of the first innings score (South Africa), and I’m very happy for Alice too.”
England haven’t won a test match since 2014, or on home soil since 2005, but have positioned themselves well in Somerset and Sciver is looking to go for the win.
“There were comments that did not support the women’s Test matches, which we disagree with, so we are playing a bit of a spotlight on that comment and we want to push for a result,” said the England vice-captain.
Anneke Bosch was the favorite of the South African bowlers, finishing 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 bit. I think everyone was a little high after that and just ended the day with a wicket,” Bosch said.
“I think it would have been worse if we hadn’t been able to get that last wicket and break that partnership.
“I’m proud of the team for starting like we did and getting some quick wickets but unfortunately we let it go a bit towards the end and that collaboration between Nat and Alice made it really hard for us but as I said, luckily there is a new batter tomorrow morning.”