Captain Charlotte Edwards led from the front as England Women eased to a nine-wicket victory in the opening Twenty20 of their three-match series against South Africa Women.
Edwards made an unbeaten 62 from 54 deliveries from the top of the order as the hosts eased past the Proteas’ total of 89-4 with 39 balls to spare at Chelmsford.
Sarah Taylor made 21 not out as England’s only casualty in their run chase was Lauren Winfield, the opener run out for four by a direct hit from Dane van Niekerk running around from cover.
However Edwards was already by then getting into her stride; she reached her half-century from 47 deliveries and her 10th four of the evening finished the job off for the hosts.
"I didn't get off to the quickest of starts but I knew that I was in good form and I could catch up quickly," the skipper said afterwards at the presentation ceremony.
"I guess my experience is counting now. That's why when I get in I have to stay in and take the team home."
England’s bowlers had earlier done an excellent job restricting their opponents after winning the toss and opting to field first.
Opener Van Niekerk made 36 for South Africa and skipper Mignon du Preez contributed 28, the duo putting on a second-wicket stand worth 51 after the early departure of Trisha Chetty (four).
However from a healthy enough position of 62-1 at the start of the 15th over the tourists rather lost their way, starting with Danielle Hazell bowling van Niekerk.
Lizelle Lee was then run out having contributed four runs by Natalie Scriver, who then followed up her fine piece of fielding by getting Du Preez caught by Lydia Greenway to make it three wickets falling in the space of 13 runs.
Sune Luus finished up on 11 not out with Chloe Tryon unbeaten on three, neither able to really break the shackles in the closing overs.
The two teams now move on to Wantage Road, Northampton, for the second T20 contest on Wednesday, before the series concludes at Edgbaston on Sunday.