England beat South Africa in a festival of runs on an entertaining first day of warm-up matches for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
In Stellenbosch the two teams combined to rack up 475 runs as England edged to a 17-run success.
Elsewhere, Sri Lanka hung on for a two-run win over Ireland, while defending champions Australia got the better of India by 43 runs thanks to a fine bowling display.
New Zealand kicked off with a 32-run win over the West Indies, and Pakistan were the only successful chasers in a six-wicket success against Bangladesh.
Top order shines for England
After being put in, England made a blistering start to their innings against South Africa, with Sophia Dunkley smashing 59 off just 19 deliveries including nine fours and three sixes.
She fell in the fifth over, with 68 on the board, but opening partner Danni Wyatt (24) and then Alice Capsey (61) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (51) put England in a strong position at 207 for four with four overs remaining.
They kept up the pace as the wickets fell, with useful late runs from Maia Bouchier (19 not out from seven balls) to reach 246 for seven.
That left South Africa a mammoth target to chase, with early wickets for Charlie Dean and Sarah Glenn leaving them with a lot to do when they found themselves 51 for three.
Chloe Tryon then blasted 65 off just 23 balls including seven sixes to get the chase back on track, but her dismissal was the first of three for just two runs that stalled the chase once again.
Nadine de Klerk kept battling, with a 27-ball 50, but South Africa left themselves too much to do.
Sri Lanka sneak home
Sri Lanka needed two wickets in the final over to deny Ireland victory in the closest game of the day.
Batting first, the Sri Lankans made 149 for five, opener Harshitha Samarawickrama making 56 before retiring hurt.
Vishmi Gunarathne chipped in with 36 but Laura Delany (3/20) kept the batters in check as Ireland gave themselves a manageable target to chase.
Gaby Lewis (38) provided early runs in reply, but Ireland kept losing wickets as Oshadi Ranasinghe (3/22) and Inoka Ranaweera (3/26) chipped away.
Arlene Nora Kelly finally settled things down, with a 17-ball 30 that took Ireland to the brink, needing three from four balls with two wickets in hand.
However, Sugandika Kumari removed Cara Murray before Kelly was run out off the penultimate delivery as Sri Lanka clinched it.
Australian lower order comes up trumps
As so often, Australia’s depth came to the fore as they got out of a hole to beat India by a comfortable margin.
Australia were reduced to 79 for eight, batting first, Shikha Pandey miserly on her way to figures of two for nine including Meg Lanning and Tahlia McGrath.
It took a ninth-wicket stand of 50 between Georgia Wareham (32 not out) and Jess Jonassen (22 not out) to take them to a respectable 129 for eight.
In reply, India quickly slumped to 22 for four, Darcie Brown the destroyer in chief with four for 17. India’s innings never really got going, with Deepti Sharma their best performer, making an unbeaten 19 as they were bowled out for 86.
All-round Dar shines for Pakistan
Nida Dar had a strong showing for Pakistan as they eased past Bangladesh, first making the difference with the ball before taking her side home with the bat.
She took two for 12 at the top of the order as Bangladesh managed just 101 for eight from their 20 overs, despite 36 from opener Shamima Sultana.
The chase was relatively comfortable, despite Marufa Akter (2/27) and Rumana Ahmed (2/6) taking two wickets apiece.
However, an unbroken 46-run stand between Dar (24 not out) and Ayesha Naseem (20 not out) got them home with four overs to spare.
New Zealand turn to middle order
Taking on the West Indies, New Zealand found themselves in trouble on 56 for four, despite a handy 30 from Suzie Bates.
Needing some runs down the order, they got just what they required from Maddy Green, whose unbeaten 47 ensured a competitive total, adding 57 with Brooke Halliday (24).
They finished on 123 for five, and that proved beyond the West Indies, who lost three early wickets before Shemaine Campbelle (26) and Chinelle Henry (23) came together, putting on 51.
The pair fell in successive overs, taking West Indies’ hopes with them, as they slipped to a 32-run loss, Amelia Kerr (3/20) the pick of the Kiwi bowlers.
Scores in brief
New Zealand beat West Indies at Western Province Cricket Ground, Cape Town by 32 runs
New Zealand 123/5 in 20 overs (Maddy Green 47, Suzie Bates 30; Hayley Matthews 1/6, Chinelle Henry 1/21)
West Indies 91/7 in 20 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 26, Chinelle Henry 23; Amelia Kerr 3/20, Suzie Bates 1/6)
Sri Lanka beat Ireland at Coetzenburg Oval, Stellenbosch by two runs
Sri Lanka 149/5 in 20 overs (Harshitha Samarawickrama 56, Vishmi Gunarathne 36; Laura Delany 3/20, Eimear Richardson 1/26)
Ireland 147 all out in 19.5 overs (Gaby Lewis 38, Arlene Nora Kelly 30; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3/22, Inoka Ranaweera 3/26)
England beat South Africa at Coetzenburg Oval, Stellenbosch by 17 runs
England 246/7 in 20 overs (Alice Capsey 61, Sophia Dunkley 59; Nadine de Klerk 3/45, Shabnim Ismail 2/38)
South Africa 229/9 in 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 65, Nadine de Klerk 50 not out; Sarah Glenn 3/30, Lauren Bell 3/31)
Australia beat India at Newlands, Cape Town by 43 runs
Australia 129/8 in 20 overs (Georgia Wareham 32 not out, Beth Mooney 28; Shikha Pandey 2/9, Pooja Vastrakar 2/16)
India 86 all out in 15 overs (Deepti Sharma 19 not out, Harleen Deol 12; Darcie Brown 4/17, Ash Gardner 2/16)
Pakistan beat Bangladesh at Western Province Cricket Ground, Cape Town by six wickets
Bangladesh 101/8 in 20 overs (Shamima Sultana 36, Sobhana Mostary 23; Nida Dar 2/12, Nashra Sundhu 2/19)
Pakistan 105/4 in 16 overs (Nida Dar 24 not out, Bismah Maroof 24; Rumana Ahmed 2/6, Marufa Akter 2/27)
Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.