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It seems an injustice to Women's Cricket to have four-day Test matches

The England women's team have enjoyed another tremendous yet frustrating few days in Taunton - the West-country ground that has become their 'home away from home', particularly for Test matches in England.

A particularly special event was held on the morning of day two; LV= Insurance sponsored a Women in Sport breakfast in the County Room in the Colin Atkinson Pavilion as the England squad avidly warmed up three hours before the start of play.

The Q&A session with Spencer Bishop involving former Somerset and England's Anya Shrubsole alongside Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of women's engagement for the ECB, gave a fascinating insight into the growth of women's sports and the direction it could be headed in the coming years.

A few statistics detail this: 3.9 million people watched women's sports in 2021, and 15.1m watched women's sports in the first quarter of this year. 

There are now 67 professional cricketers in the UK, on which Anya Shrubsole says: "Girls are playing and training all year round now, surprise, surprise they and the game as a whole is getting better!"

It was nice to see professional players past and present wonder around the press box and ground with no airs nor graces. Michael Bates, the wicketkeeping coach, was one of those back on old turf putting Amy Jones through her paces. 

Day one saw Marizanne Kapp dominate, coming in at 45-4 after Kate Cross's (4-63) early breakthroughs. Kapp's 150 contributed to the majority of South Africa's 284.

And it was similar salvaging from the England middle-order, though their top-order did manage more than South Africa's. 

Coming together with their side wobbling at 121-5, Nat Sciver (119*) and debutante Alice Davidson-Richards (107) combined for a superb partnership of 207 - England Women's joint-second highest partnership in Test cricket.

Kent all-rounder Davidson-Richards became the first England Women's player to score a century on Test debut since Lesley Cooke in 1986 and the third overall. However, she agonisingly departed on the last ball of the day for 107.

Nat Sciver has scored 300 runs since she was last dismissed in international cricket. From the World Cup final 148* to this week's first innings 169*, even if two months apart between England matches, she is in some vein of form. 

Sciver, of course (who else?) took the catch to dismiss Andrie Steyn for Kate Cross' first of the second innings, 9-1, just before lunch as the gloom descended from The Quantocks. An lbw review shout was fruitless in the same over, rain pouring down as the players left the field for a slightly early lunch at 12.53. 

Sadly, rain disrupted most of Wednesday and Thursday (days three and four) though England kept taking wickets between delays. 

Lizelle Lee was fortunate to survive a couple of drop catches during her 36, but she was eventually caught out to Cross at mid-off off to number one ODI and T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone.

Kapp came in and resumed from where she left off, quickly overtaking her partner Tumi Sekhukhune (33*) showing sublime drives for 43* before the game was eventually tied around Thursday evening rush hour. South Africa finished 181-5, leading by 48 runs.

Despite the dampness, it has been a bright week for women's cricket, with hundreds of school children enjoying the spectacle and Kate Cross' Activity Book across the week.

Charity Chance to Shine saw Issy Wong and Lauren Bell become the first England cricketers to emerge from the programme, and both bowling well with the new ball.

Shrubsole said: "I was nicknamed 'the hoof' because of how I walk. I've got a bit of a funny walk which people decided was like a pony. I flick my feet out in front of me and also I have to tape up four of my five toes when I bowl so it's like a hoof I guess,"

She added: "I think I retired at just the right time, if I'm honest I'm very content with my decision," 

Another local lady, skipper Heather Knight who grew up playing in Plymouth and coaching kids at Ilton CC last week, still averages above 50 with over 700 test runs to her name. However, she was visibly disappointed because of the weather, and a run-out curtailed her chances to add more to that in her one inning this week. 

Not having a day five was frustrating, which had a dry forecast and would have likely brought about a result, especially when so little Test cricket is played in the women's game. This was South Africa's first Test since 2014, during which their captain this week, Suné Luus was sitting her Year 12 exams.

 Anya echoed her and everyone's sentiments after the frustration of this week:  "There's a huge amount to be learned from playing tests, it helps other formats too. I would like to see more countries around the world playing cricket,"

Luus said she 'hadn't touched a red ball since primary school' before this month. So with that, the England ladies will head into playing white ball cricket with a packed schedule against Luus' side and then India until the end of September. 

On social media see @/#WomenInSport @/#hergametoo and @SomersetCCC with a big thanks to @LV_Cricket for sponsoring the breakfast event, represented there by Holly Devonald.