South Africa’s batting was underwhelming for the second successive game as New Zealand cantered to a five-wicket victory and went 2-0 up in the five-match women’s T20I series.
Having limped to 116/7 in the opener in Mount Maunganui, South Africa this time did not even last the 20 overs, although they finished with a total that was three runs higher than the one they put together last time around.
That still wasn’t enough to challenge New Zealand, who raced to the target in 18.2 overs, with five wickets in hand, after a punchy 61 from their captain Sophie Devine.
Devine’s knock helped paper over the cracks after New Zealand had lost Rachel Priest and Suzie Bates inside the Powerplay. Devine then took complete charge, dominating a third-wicket stand of 72 Maddy Green, who contributed just 23.
New Zealand win by 5️⃣ wickets and go 2-0 up in the T20I series!— ICC (@ICC) February 6, 2020
Scorecard: https://t.co/ZaAlaSk2ZT#NZvSA pic.twitter.com/oU6MVgNZ23
South Africa struck thrice while giving away just 13 more runs, but the damage had already been done and New Zealand were within touching distance of the target by then. Many of South Africa’s bowlers turned in strong performances, most notably their skipper Dane van Niekerk (1/10 in four overs), Ayabonga Khaka (2/24 in four) and Shabnim Ismail (1/19 in four), but they simply did not have enough to defend.
That was a consequence of the regular wickets New Zealand’s bowlers took after Devine had elected to field. The captain made her presence felt on the field, too, with a direct hit to run out Laura Wolvaardt. That dismissal had brought South Africa down to 39/3, after which van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez put the innings back on track with a 55-run fourth-wicket stand.
That was the only instance of substantial resistance. Van Niekerk perished for 25, while du Preez fell for a top score of 40, as South Africa lost their last seven wickets for 25 runs.
New Zealand’s bowlers fired collectively; right-arm pacer Lea Tahuhu was comfortably the best of the lot, returning 2/10 in her four overs.