Beaumont slapped 22 fours and a six in her 145-ball innings while Taylor clubbed 24 fours in a 104-ball knock as they piloted England to an imposing 373 for five in 50 overs. In turn, South Africa put up a gallant run chase and finished at 305 for nine as a world record 678 runs were scored in the day, beating the previous best of 577 runs between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney in December 2012 by 101 runs.
Beaumont and Taylor had joined hands in the 12th over at the score of 59 and the association ended in the 47th over at the total of 334 after Taylor fell to Shabnim Ismail. Beaumont was the fourth batter to be dismissed, becoming one of three Marizanne Kapp victims but not before putting her side in a position from where it could dictate terms.
This was England’s third victory in four matches, while it was South Africa’s first defeat in as many matches to go with one abandoned game against New Zealand.
Elsewhere, defending champion Australia and India maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament when they defeated Pakistan and Sri Lanka, respectively, in contrasting styles. The defeats mean the two Asian sides now only have a mathematical chance of reaching the 18 and 20 July semi-finals as it was their fourth successive losses with three group-stage matches remaining.
In Leicester, Australia routed Pakistan by 159 runs following excellent half-centuries by Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani, whereas India held its nerve to overcome Sri Lanka by 16 runs after Deepti Sharma and Mithali Raj had put on 118 runs for the third wicket, which lifted India to 230 for seven.
However, the stars of day eight of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 were 26-year-old Beaumont from Kent and 28-year-old Londoner Taylor.
The two batters matched each other stroke for stroke as they creamed the South Africa bowlers with excellent stroke selection, precise timing and textbook footwork to justify Heather Knight’s decision to bat first after winning the toss.
Beaumont, playing only her 39th ODI, also reached 1,000 ODI runs on way to hitting her third career century, while Taylor, featuring in her 105th ODI, notched up her sixth career century. With 3,515 ODI runs against her name, Taylor is the ninth most successful batter in the history of women’s cricket.
Beaumont reached her half-century from 71 balls with eight fours, while she completed her century in 118 balls with 15 fours. Taylor was more consistent, taking 49 balls for her first 50 runs and another 49 balls for the second 50 runs. However, she had more boundaries in her second 50 – nine as compared to seven.
It was Beaumont and Taylor, who after taking England to 167 for one in 30 overs went on a rampage in the last 20 overs, which yielded 206 runs for the loss of four wickets as the home side finished at 373 for five in 50 overs.
Facing a stiff target, Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt provided South Africa a brisk start when they added 128 runs for the first wicket in 25 overs. After the two batters were dismissed, South Africa continued to try valiantly but the target proved a mountain as it eventually finished at 305 for nine after requiring 150 runs off the final 10 overs.
Lee was the first batter to be dismissed after scoring 72 that came off 77 balls and included seven fours and two sixes, while Wolvaardt, who was the third batter out at the score of 167, scored 67 from 103 balls with nine fours. Chloe Tryon was the third half-centurion of the innings when she scored 54 off 26 balls with five fours and four sixes. Tryon added 75 runs for the fifth wicket with Mignon du Preez (43, 39b, 4x4).
For England, Danielle Hazell was the pick of bowlers with three for 70, while Knight claimed two wickets for 52 runs.
Australia v Pakistan
Perry, Healy and Villani were in sparkling form as they scored well-constructed half-centuries to help Australia recover from seven for two to 290 for eight in 50 overs after stand-in captain Rachael Haynes had elected to bat first after winning the toss.
Perry scored 66 (97b, 5x4), Healy remained beaten on 63 in a rapid 40-ball cameo (9x4, 1x6) and Villani scored a punishing 59 off 40 balls (5x4, 4x6) as Australia scored 153 runs in the last 20 overs. Villani and Perry added 83 runs for the fourth wicket, while Healy and Sarah Aley (15 not out) put on 51 runs for the unfinished ninth wicket in just under four overs.
The target of 291 was always going to be a daunting one for Pakistan and the top order didn’t help its cause by opting for some over-ambitious strokes that brought about its downfall. As such, half of its side was back in the hut at the halfway stage at the score of 62, before the innings wrapped up for 131 on the last ball of its allotted overs.
Debutant Sarah Aley struck with her second ball to finish with two for 29 while Kristen Beams claimed three for 23 and Ashleigh Gardner bagged three for 28. Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen returned figures of 10-6-12-1 – one of the most economical figures in the history of the ICC Women’s World Cup.
India v Sri Lanka
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, India was in some bother at 38 for two before Sharma and Raj added 118 runs for the third wicket to bring stability to the innings which concluded at 230 for seven. Sharma struck 10 fours in her 110-ball 78, while Raj struck four fours in her 78-ball 53.
There were some useful contributions later in the order through Veda Krishnamurthy (29) and Harmanpreet Kaur (20) as India collected 60 runs in its last 10 overs while losing two wickets.
In turn, Sri Lanka struggled to rotate the strike as well as construct partnerships to finish 16 runs short at 216 for seven after being 82 for three in 30 overs.
Dilani Manodara (61, 75b, 6x4) and Shashikala Siriwardena (37) added 60 runs for the fourth wicket but their stand consumed 93 deliveries, meaning that when Siriwardena departed, Sri Lanka required 95 runs from the remaining 60 balls.
For India, Poonam Yadav and Jhulan Goswami picked up two wickets apiece conceding 23 and 26 runs respectively.
Scores in brief:
England beat South Africa by 68 runs in Bristol
England 373-5, 50 overs (Tamsin Beaumont 148, Sarah Taylor 147, Lauren Winfield 24, Heather Knight; Marizanne Kapp 3-77)
South Africa 305-9, 50 overs (Lizelle Lee 72, Laura Wolfvaardt 67, Chloe Tryon 54, Mignon du Preez 43; Danielle Hazell 3-70, Heather Knight 2-52)
Player of the match – Sarah Taylor (England)
Australia beat Pakistan by 159 runs in Leicester
Australia 290-8, 50 overs (Ellyse Perry 66, Alyssa Healy 63 not out, Elyse Villani 59, Rachael Haynes 28, Alex Blackwell 23; Sana Mir 3-49, Sadiq Yousuf 2-66)
Pakistan 131 all out, 50 overs (Sana Mir 45, Iram Javed 21; Kristen Beams 3-23, Ashleigh Gardner 3-28, Sarah Aley 2-29)
Player of the match - Elyse Villani (Australia)
India beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in Derby
India 230-7, 50 overs (Deepti Sharma 78, Mithali Raj 53, Veda Krishnamurthy 29, Harmanpreet Kaur 20; Sripali Weerakkody 3-28, Inoka Ranaweera 2-55)
Sri Lanka 216-7, 50 overs (Dilani Manodara 61, Shashikala Siriwardena 37, Nipuni Hansika 29, Chamari Athapaththu 25, Poonam Yadav 2-23, Jhulan Goswami 2-26)
Player of the match – Deepti Sharma (India)
New Zealand v West Indies, Taunton