South Africa edged out hosts New Zealand by two wickets in a thrilling league stage match to continue their unbeaten run in the ICC Women’s World Cup on Thursday.
Seamers Ayabonga Khaka (3/31), Shabnim Ismail (3/27) and Marizanne Kapp (2/44) led the way with the ball as the Proteas bowled out New Zealand for 228 despite skipper Sophie Devine’s 93 at Seddon Park. Laura Wolvaardt (67) and skipper Sune Luus (51) then hit timely half centuries before Kapp (34 not out) ensured South Africa crossed the line for their fourth win of the tournament.
South Africa thus consolidated their second spot on the points table while New Zealand, who have just two wins from five outings, continued to remain fourth and will need to win their remaining two fixtures to stay in the mix for a semifinal spot.
Chasing 229, openers Lizelle Lee (17) and Wolvaardt started positively for South Africa. But a bit of hesitation in running between the wickets cost the former her wicket. Wolvaardt, however, remained unperturbed and kept finding the boundaries. She was lucky on a couple of occasions with a dropped catch and almost dragging on to her own stumps but along with Luus, kept the chase on track.
Amelia Kerr (3/50) trapped Wolvaardt leg before to put an end to the 88-run partnership between the opener and Luus in the 36th over before dismissing Mignon du Preez (1) in her next over. When Luus was caught by Katey Martin in the 41st over it seemed that the Proteas were losing momentum as New Zealand continued to claim wickets. But Kapp held on to one end, smashing boundaries when required.
Earlier, Devine hit 12 boundaries and one six in her 101-ball innings as her partnership of 81 with Amelia Kerr (42) and 80 with Maddy Green (30) formed the backbone of the New Zealand innings. But when Devine was bowled by Khaka in the 41st over the hosts suffered a late collapse. New Zealand lost their final six wickets for just 30 runs to be all out in the 48th over.
Devine and Kerr looked solid and put on 81 for the second wicket, until Luus (1/48) intervened with the big wicket of Kerr. Luus had the New Zealand number three trapped leg before and experienced batter Amy Satterthwaite (1) fell in the next over to Khaka as the Proteas quickly gained the upper hand.
Devine then fell to a lovely Khaka yorker and the rot then fell in as South Africa cleaned up the New Zealand tail to ensure their victory target would not be too high.
New Zealand 238 all out in 47.5 overs (Sophie Devine 93, Amelia Kerr 42; Shabnim Ismail 3/27, Aybonga Khaka 3/31)
South Africa 229 for 8 in 49.3 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 67, Sune Luus 51; Amelia Kerr 3/50).