Women's World Cup: England beat South Africa in warm-up in New Zealand

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Amy JonesEngland have beaten Bangladesh and South Africa in their World Cup warm-up matches
South Africa 138-9 (35 overs): Ecclestone 3-23, Shrubsole 2-18
England 139-4 (26.2 overs): Beaumont 35 (45), Sciver 33 (36)
England won by six wickets

England impressively brushed aside South Africa in their final Women's World Cup warm-up match in Lincoln.

In a game reduced to 35 overs a side because of rain, England restricted the Proteas to 138-9 before reaching the target with almost nine overs to spare.

Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt were excellent with the new ball, reducing South Africa to 19-3, before spinner Sophie Ecclestone picked up 3-23.

Tammy Beaumont made 35 and Nat Sciver 33 to complete a six-wicket win.

England begin the defence of the title they won in 2017 against Australia in Hamilton on Saturday (01:00 GMT), a day after hosts New Zealand open the tournament against West Indies in Tauranga.

After going winless during the Ashes, England crushed Bangladesh in their opening warm-up and stepped up a level to comfortably defeat a talented South Africa team.

Indeed, the Proteas are ranked second in the world, sandwiched between Australia and England, but were without injured captain Dane van Niekerk and star opener Lizelle Lee, who will join the tournament late after her partner gave birth to their first child.

"It was a good performance," Shrubsole told BBC Sport. "We've gone pretty well across the two warm-up games and we're ready and raring to get going now.

"Everyone looks in good shape going in to the tournament opener."

Experienced pair Shrubsole and Brunt produced new-ball movement that the South Africa top order could not handle, though of greater value to England was Ecclestone proving her fitness after missing the Bangladesh game with a calf problem.

Sciver followed up her century against Bangladesh by adding 43 with Beaumont and 42 with wicketkeeper Amy Jones, who made 20.

Sciver retired out, allowing time at the crease for Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt, the latter hitting the winning run.

"We're desperate to defend our title," added Shrubsole. "If we play well and put everything in together, we'll be right in the mix."

There will be live commentary of 20 World Cup games on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app, including every England game, both semi-finals and the final in Christchurch on 3 April.

There will also be video highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

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