Defending 229, New Zealand started with off-spinner Frances Mackay but then they didn't persist with the experiment for too long. Lizelle Lee, who was fighting bad form, looked in her usual best. However, her knock was short lived. Laura Wolvaardt drove and then called for three. Lee wasn’t up for it and was run out for just 17 from 23.
The wicket then put some pressure on the Proteas. Tazmin Brits, who came in at no. 3, couldn’t get going easily and struggled at the crease. Wolvaardt, too, wasn’t able to turn for singles and doubles easily. After the power play, the pair started to get a move on. At the 15 over mark, South Africa had reached 55 for 1.
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Brits was four from 24 deliveries at this moment. She decided to take on Amelia Kerr by hitting her down the ground for a boundary and then hit her for another four off the next delivery. She took on Lea Tahuhu down the ground for a four. Amelia got her out eventually when she tried to step out again but was deceived by a leg-break, getting stumped for 18.
After that, Sune Luus joined Wolvaardt as the duo started to move the scorecard ahead with good running between the wickets. South Africa were 105 for 2 after 25 overs. Wolvaardt reached her fifty off 72 balls and the pair was looking good at this moment and kept milking runs. Their stand lasted for 88 runs from 18 overs.
But just after the 35th over mark, Amelia got the key wicket of Wolvaardt for 67 with a LBW. Amelia brought her side back in the game with another wicket in her next over, when she got Mignon du Preez caught out by the wicket-keeper for just one. Luus knocked down her fifty next as the match approached the last ten overs.
South Africa were 170 for 4, needing 59 runs with Luus and Kapp in the middle. Luus went for drive but just managed to edge it to the keeper, getting dismissed for 51. Chloe Tryon joined Kapp and the pair managed to keep the required rate around six. Heading into the last five overs, South Africa needed 31 runs.
Mackay got a breakthrough next when Tryon tried to hit her out of the park but only managed to get caught in the deep for 14. In the 47th over, Kapp hit two back to back boundaries to release some pressure which was building on the South African team. However, Mackay dismissed Trisha Chetty in the next over to keep the hosts in the game.
Sophie Devine came back to bowl another over when the Proteas needed 14 runs off the last two overs. Ismail went for a big shot and was deceived by a delivery and got bowled for four. Kapp got a boundary in the same over to bring South Africa back in the game. With six needed off the last over, Kapp went for a slog sweep on the first ball and connected it for a boundary. A couple of singles after that saw South Africa seal the deal. Kapp remained unbeaten on 34. For New Zealand, Amelia got three scalps while Mackay got two.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Suzie Bates got a peach of a delivery first up from Ismail. The delivery was full and seamed into Bates, knocking off her stumps. Amelia joined captain Devine as the duo looked to revive the flimsy start to the innings.
Ismail along with her opening bowling partner Kapp was quite accurate in their initial spell and managed to keep the duo calm and searching for runs. Till ninth over, the score was only 19 for one. It was only when Masabata Klaas was introduced that the pair freed up and started looking for more scoring opportunities.
Klaas was smashed for a boundary each by the duo in her first over, both stroking them through the cover and point region. Ayabonga Khaka , who had started with a maiden over, was then cut for another boundary by Devine in the next over. Tryon was introduced as Proteas looked to slow down the proceedings. However, both Devine and Amelia looked comfortable in the middle, rotating strike and also pouncing on the bad deliveries.
Between overs ten and 18, the pair got ten boundaries, which showed their intentions. South Africa were guilty of dropping the ball short from time to time and paid the price for it. They also got a big blow when Klaas had to walk back to the pavilion with a shoulder injury. This put even more pressure on Luus as she had to manage with one less bowler in the match. In this period, New Zealand managed to score 69 runs in nine overs.
As the partnership was starting to look threatening for the Proteas, Luus struck when she dismissed Amelia LBW off a full toss which she failed to sweep. She was dismissed for 42. Khaka came back for another burst in the next over and sent back Amy Sattherthwaite, who tried to cut a delivery too close to her body and eventually ended up giving a catch to the keeper.
Maddy Green joined her skipper in the middle and struggled to get going. Luus took this opportunity and decided to use spin from both the ends. Luus was slightly inconsistent with the length, bowling a few full tosses which were taken full advantage by Devine, who swept well through the innings.
Devine reached her fifty from just 61 balls while Green was nine off 36 balls at one point. She eventually got going when she hit Luus down the ground for a boundary off a full toss. Green started rotating the strike a bit more than before as the White Ferns were looking for a move-on. She was dropped once as well. At the 35th over mark, they were 167 for 3 and were looking set for a good total with Devine approaching her second century of the tournament.
But, in the very next over, Green was dismissed via a run out for 30 off 58. Brooke Halliday walked in next and looked to take on the bowlers. Devine struck a six straight down the ground against Kapp. After this, the momentum started shifting towards South Africa. Khaka first got rid of Devine with a searing yorker, sending her back for 93 from 101.
In the 43rd over, Ismail got rid of Katey Martin who made only nine runs. A couple of overs later, Kapp returned to get two wickets on consecutive deliveries. She first got Halliday out for 24 with a full toss which the southpaw missed and was bowled. Hannah Rowe was the next to walk back, edging one to the keeper Trisha Chetty.
Ismail yorked Tahuhu and got her bowled for a duck. Jess Kerr hit one boundary through the off-side before falling to Khaka as New Zealand was bowled out for 228. The hosts lost their last six wickets for just 30 runs, playing into the hands of South Africa. It was nevertheless an exceptional passage of fast-bowling from the pace trio of South Africa. Kapp got two while Khaka and Ismail ended with three scalps each.
Brief scores: New Zealand 228/10 in 47.5 overs (Sophie Devine 93; Shabnim Ismail 3/27, Ayabonga Khaka 3/31) South Africa 229 for 8 in 49.3 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 67, Sune Luus 51; Amelia Kerr 3/50) beat by two wickets.