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New Zealand claim T20I series 3-1 as rain plays spoilsport

NZ v SA, 5th T20I, report

Incessant rain in Dunedin denied New Zealand and South Africa a chance for a final hit-out before the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020, with the hosts taking the series 3-1.

New Zealand had been the stronger side for the most part of the series, scripting a dramatic turnaround in fortunes after having been clean swept in the preceding ICC Women's Championship ODIs.

Sophie Devine, the captain, was in scintillating form, making scores of 54*, 61, 77 and 105 in the four completed games. In doing so she became the first player, male or female, to stitch together five consecutive scores of fifty or more in T20I cricket; she had made 72 against India in Hamilton last year.

As focus turns to the 20-over marquee tournament, that kind of form from the leader augurs well for New Zealand, who kick-off their campaign against Sri Lanka on 22 February in Perth.

South Africa's batting was cause for much concern. Only once in the four games did they pass 150. They will hope for a quick reversal in the form of the likes of Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt and Dane van Niekerk. They play their opening game of the World Cup on 23 February against a strong England side.

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