South Africa bounced back from an opening-day defeat with a 65-run win over New Zealand in their second game of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023
The tournament hosts hit 132 for six after a difficult start in Paarl, rallying thanks to totals of 40 from Chloe Tryon and 28 not out from Nadine de Klerk.
They followed that up with a devastating performance with the ball, with skipper Sophie Devine top-scoring with just 16 as Nonkululeko Mlaba starred, taking three wickets for ten runs to wrap up the win.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat, but it was New Zealand who struck the first blow of the match.
Eden Carson dismissed Tazmin Brits leg before wicket after just four balls for just one, leaving the hosts four for one at the end of the first over.
Marizanne Kapp, promoted up the order to ensure she got the best out of her batting partners, was the next to go.
Her airborne shot handed Jess Kerr the first catch of the day from Lea Tahuhu’s bowling, leaving the hosts 13 for two midway through the third over.
The White Ferns thought they had a third wicket during the fourth over, but Sune Luus got a reprieve when the ball was deemed to have dropped short of wicket-keeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout.
However, despite the difficult start, South Africa responded with a partnership between Laura Wolvaardt and Luus.
Just as Wolvaardt and Luus’ partnership was beginning to build, the captain was run out for 22 by Bezuidenhout after a miscommunication.
Tryon took the hosts to 55 for three after eight overs before Tahuhu bowled Wolvaardt (13) with a superb delivery.
All-rounder Tryon began showing off her power with the bat, hitting a fantastic four to take her side to 76 for four.
Delmi Tucker and Tryon’s partnership was proving fruitful, adding 23 runs from 22 balls, but the former was dismissed after attempting a premeditated ramp shot from Carson’s delivery midway through the 13th over.
Tryon continued to build South Africa’s score, taking her team to 125 before she was dismissed off the final ball of the penultimate over.
She was eventually caught by Bezuidenhout off the bowling of Hayley Jensen, having hit 40 off 34 balls.
De Klerk ended unbeaten on 28 from 26 deliveries, leaving South Africa with 132 for six, a very respectable total after a difficult start.
That total looked even more impressive when the White Ferns also struggled with the bat early on.
Bezuidenhout was stumped for a duck by Sinalo Jafta after just two deliveries from Mlaba.
The opening bowler then added another victim, dismissing Suzie Bates for another duck with a fine delivery at the start of the third over.
That meant New Zealand’s openers had not scored a run in their first two matches of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
South Africa continued their impressive start with the ball, Georgia Plimmer caught by Jafta for seven off Kapp to leave the White Ferns with 13 for three after four overs. And things went from bad to worse, with Amelia Kerr caught by Jafta for ten as they slumped to 18 for four.
Tryon then entered the attack, bowling for the first time in the tournament, and she had Maddy Green caught by Jafta for seven.
New Zealand were in big trouble at 34 for five, with ten overs to play.
Devine and Jensen tried to rebuild for the White Ferns, but the game was starting to slip away from them.
Then a brilliant bit of fielding from Ayabonga Khaka saw Jensen run out for seven to leave New Zealand 47 for six.
And it was 49 for seven shortly after when Devine’s wicket finally fell, falling leg before off Tryon having hit 16 off 26 balls.
Mlaba then trapped Tahuhu in front to take her wicket tally for the evening to three for eight, her best ever in a T20 international.
Shabnim Ismail took a wicket of her own, bowling Jess Kerr for 11 with just under three overs remaining.
And New Zealand could not go the distance, all out for a lowest-ever total in the tournament of 67 as Kapp dismissed Fran Jonas for one.
England beat Ireland
The trio of Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Charlie Dean were all on song, combining for eight wickets between them as Ireland stumbled from 80 for two to 105 all out.
England required just 14.2 overs to knock off the total, with Alice Capsey doing the heavy lifting as her quickfire 51 ensured her side’s unbeaten start to the tournament continued.
After opting to bat upon winning the toss, Ireland’s first over was an eventful one with Gaby Lewis striking two boundaries either side of being put down by Danni Wyatt.
The enterprising start would continue as a textbook drive got Amy Hunter up and running and even the introduction of Ecclestone into the attack did not yield an immediate breakthrough.
But Dean did soon find a much-needed first wicket, with Amy Hunter dismissed for 15 as Sophia Dunkley claimed a smart catch on the rope at deep mid-wicket.
England managed to rein in the fast start when Orla Prendergast joined Lewis at the crease, as Ireland passed the 50 mark in the eighth over.
Not long into the attack, Glenn was soon on the board, claiming England’s second wicket as she clean bowled Prendergast a ball after being dispatched to the cover boundary.
Lewis continued to battle away but with the boundaries drying up the pressure mounted, and Wyatt made no mistake second time round, pouching a hard and flat sweep from the bat of Ireland’s opener.
That precipitated a flurry of wickets which would see England wrap up Ireland’s innings, with the batting side losing their final eight wickets for just 25 runs.
Ecclestone took two in two before pouching a mistimed shot from Louise Little. Glenn then struck twice in quick succession as Ireland desperately tried to wrestle back momentum with some aggressive but ultimately fatal strokes.
And the final wickets fell not long after but not before England’s spinners took their eighth – a record for the most scalps taken by England spinners in a T20 international.
There was some early hope for Ireland when they took to the field, with the dangerous Dunkley dismissed at the end of England’s first over when looking to hit Prendergast for back-to-back fours.
Her departure brought Capsey to the crease and the 18-year-old was at her devastating best, bringing up her half-century off just 21 balls - the joint-fastest at an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup - fittingly passing the landmark with a bruising six.
The 11th boundary of her innings would be the final one, however, as Leah Paul produced an excellent diving catch to bring the big hitting to a close.
Opener Wyatt was then run out after a mix up with Nat Sciver-Brunt which saw the former stranded halfway down the wicket.
The wickets continued to tumble, with England’s final five wickets falling for 33 runs before Katherine Sciver-Brunt struck the winning runs with 34 balls to spare.
England’s toughest test yet arrives on Saturday when they face India, while Ireland have a quick turnaround and face Pakistan on Wednesday.
Scores in brief
South Africa beat New Zealand by 65 runs
South Africa 132 for six in 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 40, Nadine De Klerk 28; Eden Carson 2/23, Lea Tahuhu 2/27)
New Zealand 67 all out in 18.1 overs (Sophie Devine 16, Jess Kerr 11; Nonkululeko Mlaba 3/10, Chloe Tryon 2/12)
Player of the Match: Chloe Tryon (South Africa)
England beat Ireland by four wickets
Ireland 105 all out in 18.2 overs (Gaby Lewis 36, Orla Prendergast 17; Sophie Ecclestone 3/13, Sarah Glenn 3/19)
England 107/6 in 14.2 overs (Alice Capsey 51, Heather Knight 14; Cara Murray 3/15, Orla Prendergast 1/13)
Player of the Match: Alice Capsey (England)
Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.