Nat Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards hit hundreds as England earn first-innings lead vs South Africa
England lead South Africa by 44 at stumps on day two of one-off Test; hosts recover from 121-5 as Nat Sciver (119no) and debutant Alice Davidson-Richards (107) put on sixth-wicket stand of 207 - watch day three from 10.30am, Wednesday, Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 29/06/22 6:35am
Nat Sciver and debutant Alice Davidson-Richards hit maiden hundreds as England recovered from a batting collapse to carve out a first-innings lead over South Africa on day two of the one-off Test at Taunton.
Sciver (119no) and Davidson-Richards (107) joined forces at 121-5, at which point England trailed by 163, with the hosts losing 5-56 once Tammy Beaumont and Emma Lamb's 65-run opening salvo had been snapped.
But come stumps, England had moved into a 44-run advantage at 328-6, with Sciver and Davidson-Richards' sixth-wicket partnership reaching 207 before the latter was out to the last ball of the day.
Vice-captain Sciver topped her previous best Test score of 88, set at Taunton against Australia three summers ago, and went on to reach three figures from 182 deliveries as runs came at a canter after tea.
Davidson-Richards reached the landmark even more quickly, from 173 balls, as she became just the second England Women player to score a century in her first Test innings, after Enid Bakewell in 1968.
The 28-year-old is also just the second England Test debutant, male or female, to compile a hundred and take a wicket, after WG Grace back in 1880 - a feat Jamie Overton narrowly missed out on in last week's men's Test against New Zealand at Headingley when he fell for 97.
South Africa's grip on the women's Test drifted as they bowled their spinners ahead of the second new ball and England milked runs, while the tourists were then wasteful with the fresh Dukes later in the evening.
Sciver and Davidson-Richards plundered 152 runs in 38 overs in the final session as England coasted past South Africa's 284 all out, with the late dismissal of Davidson-Richards - caught at backward point off Tumi Sekhukhune - only taking a small amount of the gloss off.
South Africa take control before England counter
South Africa had moved into a position of real strength following the post-lunch exits of Heather Knight (8), Sophia Dunkley (18) and Amy Jones (0).
England skipper Knight was run out from the first ball of the afternoon session, with a stutter after being called through for a risky single by Sciver leaving her short of her ground at the keeper's end.
That wicket ended a jittery innings from Knight who was dropped before the break by South Africa captain Sune Luus at slip, with Luus put off by wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta diving across her.
Dunkley and Jones then fell in the space of two overs - Dunkley slashing a full, swinging ball from Anneke Bosch (3-59) behind as the seamer added to her earlier scalps of Beaumont and Lamb, before Jones was bowled sixth ball when spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba skidded a delivery on.
Sciver had a couple of scares before she reached 20 - Jafta fumbling down the leg-side as a stumping chance went begging before the batter carved just past Lizelle Lee at gully.
But it was serene going after that as the England vice-captain made it back-to-back international hundreds following her ton against Australia in April's 50-over World Cup final.
Davidson-Richards' only previous England experience was six white-ball internationals in 2018 but she showed no nerves at all in the Test whites.
The all-rounder was particularly effective driving and carving through the off-side, just as fellow debutant Lamb had been earlier in the day during a much shorter innings of 38.
Lamb hit five fours in total before she was bowled through the gate by Bosch on the drive, with that wicket coming four overs after Bosch had trapped Beaumont lbw with an in-swinger.
Lamb and Beaumont were unable to press on and when Knight, Dunkley and Jones fell cheaply, England were in a tough spot - but now it is South Africa in a tricky position.
'Dream debut for Davidson-Richards' - what they said
Alice Davidson-Richards, talking to Sky Sports: "I literally do not have the words - it was ridiculous! I thought I would get more nervous than I did. It was really special and nice to have someone I have known for God knows how long to be so relaxed. That helped me along the way."
Nat Sciver, talking to Sky Sports: "I bet there are some good shots of Alice's face today! I think I was more nervous for her century than mine! For Alice to fit into the squad and play how she plays, it's a dream debut."
Watch day three of the LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa live on Sky Sports on Wednesday. Coverage begins at 10.30am on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Mix with the first ball at 11am.