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Paarl, Feb 14 – South Africa kept their semi-final hopes alive as they beat Group 1 rivals New Zealand at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, here.
A shock defeat to Sri Lanka on the opening day had left South Africa reeling, knowing they would have to beat at least one of Australia or New Zealand and potentially both in order to qualify for the final four, reports ICC.
And the Proteas massively boosted their semi-final chances with a brilliant display against a New Zealand side, who have now suffered two heavy defeats in the tournament.
Nonkululeko Mlaba (3/10) lit up the Powerplay, removing both of New Zealand’s openers for ducks, meaning that the White Ferns have returned 0/4 from their opening batters so far in this tournament.
Mlaba had Bernadine Bezuldenhout brilliantly stumped off just the second ball of the innings.
And the spinner was at it again in her second over, cleaning up Suzie Bates and celebrating in style.
Sophie Devine dropped herself from opener down to number five in the batting order, but the captain was out in the middle inside the Powerplay as Georgia Plimmer was caught off Marizanne Kapp.
The White Ferns were struggling on 13/3 in their chase of 133, and things went from bad to worse when Amelia Kerr edged behind to depart for 10 (12).
The Kiwis reached just 19/4 at the end of the Powerplay, and Chloe Tryon dismissed Maddy Green to leave New Zealand five down and relying hugely on Devine to bail them out at Boland Park.
But wickets continued to fall, and when Devine was trapped in front by Tryon the jig was all but up. And South Africa wrapped up the victory in the penultimate over, winning by 65 runs to give their net run rate a huge and potentially-crucial boost.