Sophie Devine was adjudged the Player of the Match. ©White Ferns

New Zealand cruised into the final of the Tri-Series on Sunday with a comfortable 8 wicket win against South Africa at Bristol. This result confirms New Zealand’s place in the final, while South Africa finish their involvement.

In a weird symmetry for South Africa as it was at this ground that they went out of the World Cup last year. It was a game that South Africa knew they had to win to stand any chance of playing in Sunday’s final at Chelmsford. It was with this in mind that they chose to bat.

South Africa looked to get off to a great start and Lizelle Lee was certainly in the mood. Lee had raced to 25 from 18 balls before she became one of Hayley Jensen’s two wickets of the day. Sune Luus followed three balls later as she was run out by Suzie Bates. Laura Wolvaardt and Dane van Niekerk put on a partnership of 48 from 54 balls. If you were to be hypercritical it was at a rate that was too slow.

Like Lee, before them, Wolvaardt and Lee could not score more than 25. Amelia Kerr that accounted for both of them as South Africa needed to pick up the pace. It may have been interesting to see how many runs South Africa would have posted had Chloe Tryon batted on place higher. It was her batting that started to get South Africa motoring with 35 from 15 balls that included 5 fours and a six.

Bates and Sophie Devine the did what they do best. They batted South Africa out of the game with a partnership of 130 from 80 balls. For a long while, it looked as if the openers were going to do it on their own. Before Bates was caught behind by Lee off the bowling of Marizanne Kapp.

It was another captain’s innings for Bates with 62 was one of two players to score fifties in the innings. Sophie Devine is one of a few players that have the ability to outshine her captain and she did so with an unbeaten 68 from 40 balls.

While Katey Martin was dismissed five runs to win it was never in doubt for New Zealand as they won with 28 balls to spare.