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Proteas Women thump White Ferns to keep World Cup hopes alive

Proteas Women thump White Ferns to keep World Cup hopes alive
South Africa celebrate winning the match during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup match between South Africa and New Zealand at Boland Park on 13 February 2023 in Paarl, South Africa. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)

South Africa put their humbling defeat to Sri Lanka behind them to smash New Zealand by 65 runs and keep their T20 World Cup ambitions intact.

Nonkululeko Mlaba spun a web around New Zealand’s batters to help the Proteas Women successfully defend 132 runs in their second Women’s T20 World Cup fixture in Paarl on Monday. 

The victory was much needed after South Africa stumbled to a three-run defeat to Sri Lanka in their opening clash on Friday. 

South Africa bundled New Zealand out for a modest 67 in 18.1 overs to secure their first win of the tournament after the White Ferns restricted the hosts to 132 for six in the first innings. 

The defence of the par total started in dream fashion for South Africa with left-arm orthodox Mlaba striking twice in her first two overs while conceding only two runs. 

Her first victim was former Proteas player Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who was superbly stumped by Sinalo Jafta in the second delivery of the innings. 

Mlaba then clean-bowled Bezuidenhout’s opening partner Suzie Bates in her next over, which evoked Imran Tahir-esque celebrations — running off in jubilation, hands held aloft, halfway to the boundary line. 

The relief of the two wickets was evident on Mlaba’s face. She was not at her best in the opening fixture, but here the bowler ranked No 2 in the world showed why she is rated so highly with her immaculate line and length. 

She then came back in her second spell to dismiss Lea Tahuhu to record incredible figures of three wickets for 10 runs in her four overs. 

The Proteas’ other spin bowlers also came to the party, with Chloe Tryon recording two wickets for 12 runs in three overs, while Delmi Tucker was tidy, conceding 15 runs in three overs. 

Chloe Tryon of South Africa during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match between South Africa and New Zealand at Boland Park on 13 February 2023 in Paarl, South Africa. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)

Building pressure 

South Africa’s organised bowling and neat fielding built pressure on the White Ferns, which led to rash shots and subsequently their dismissals. 

New Zealand started their run chase needing under seven an over to reach the Proteas’ total. 

But after Mlaba’s demolition in the powerplay, the required rate shot up to more than eight in the sixth over, with New Zealand clawing their way to 19 for four. 

Captain Sophie Devine — who described New Zealand’s batting performance as “embarrassing” — was one of only two players in her side to reach double figures as she hit 16 runs off 26 deliveries at a strike rate of under 70. 

Player of the match Tryon eventually got rid of the languishing Devine with a straighter delivery that thwacked her pad right in front of the stumps as she was dismissed leg before wicket. 

Marizanne Kapp wrapped up the withering White Ferns innings and the match with a rattling of Fran Jonas’s stumps. 

Chloe Tryon of South Africa celebrates the wicket of Maddy Green of New Zealand during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match between South Africa and New Zealand at Boland Park on 13 February 2023 in Paarl, South Africa. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)


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Tryon heroics

South Africa had a similar early scattering of wickets in their innings after Suné Luus won the toss and opted to bat at Boland Park. 

Tazmin Brits fell in the first over, trapped LBW by Eden Carson, trying to sweep a full delivery before Kapp fell for in the third, skying a Tahuhu straight to Jess Kerr at mid-on. 

A diabolical run-out of Luus between herself and Laura Wolvaardt ensued when she set off after Wolvaardt bottom-edged the ball almost straight to the keeper. 

With Wolvaardt and Tryon at the crease, South Africa looked set to rebuild their innings, but an uncharacteristic slog across the line by Wolvaardt saw the white leather clatter into her middle stump. 

The Proteas were 55 for four in the ninth over at that point. 

Tryon and Nadine de Klerk then put on a match-defining 47-run sixth-wicket partnership. 

Because of the flow of wickets up top, Tryon was forced into playing the unfamiliar role of anchor. She did so to wonderful effect, compiling a well-composed 40 off 34 deliveries. The big-hitting all-rounder struck six lusty boundaries in her knock. 

Her all-round display helped her achieve the player of the match award. 

De Klerk’s role in revitalising SA’s total cannot be underestimated as the allrounder struck an unbeaten 28 off 26 deliveries, which included two fours. 

South Africa’s tail is firmly up now and it will need to be if they are to overcome champions Australia in their next group game on Saturday at Gqeberha. DM

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