South Africa bounced back from an opening-day defeat with a 65-run win over New Zealand in their second game of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
The tournament hosts hit 132 for six after a difficult start in Paarl, rallying thanks to totals of 40 from Chloe Tryon and 28 not out from Nadine de Klerk.
They followed that up with a devastating performance with the ball, with skipper Sophie Devine top-scoring with just 16 as Nonkululeko Mlaba starred, taking three wickets for ten runs to wrap up the win.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat, but it was New Zealand who struck the first blow of the match.
Eden Carson dismissed Tazmin Brits leg before wicket after just four balls for just one, leaving the hosts four for one at the end of the first over.
Marizanne Kapp, promoted up the order to ensure she got the best out of her batting partners, was the next to go.
Her airborne shot handed Jess Kerr the first catch of the day from Lea Tahuhu’s bowling, leaving the hosts 13 for two midway through the third over.
The White Ferns thought they had a third wicket during the fourth over, but Sune Luus got a reprieve when the ball was deemed to have dropped short of wicket-keeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout.
However, despite the difficult start, South Africa responded with a partnership between Laura Wolvaardt and Luus.
Just as Wolvaardt and Luus’ partnership was beginning to build, the captain was run out for 22 by Bezuidenhout after a miscommunication.
Tryon took the hosts to 55 for three after eight overs before Tahuhu bowled Wolvaardt (13) with a superb delivery.
All-rounder Tryon began showing off her power with the bat, hitting a fantastic four to take her side to 76 for four.
Delmi Tucker and Tryon’s partnership was proving fruitful, adding 23 runs from 22 balls, but the former was dismissed after attempting a premeditated ramp shot from Carson’s delivery midway through the 13th over.
Tryon continued to build South Africa’s score, taking her team to 125 before she was dismissed off the final ball of the penultimate over.
She was eventually caught by Bezuidenhout off the bowling of Hayley Jensen, having hit 40 off 34 balls.
De Klerk ended unbeaten on 28 from 26 deliveries, leaving South Africa with 132 for six, a very respectable total after a difficult start.
That total looked even more impressive when the White Ferns also struggled with the bat early on.
Bezuidenhout was stumped for a duck by Sinalo Jafta after just two deliveries from Mlaba.
The opening bowler then added another victim, dismissing Suzie Bates for another duck with a fine delivery at the start of the third over.
That meant New Zealand’s openers had not scored a run in their first two matches of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
South Africa continued their impressive start with the ball, Georgia Plimmer caught by Jafta for seven off Kapp to leave the White Ferns with 13 for three after four overs.
And things went from bad to worse, with Amelia Kerr caught by Jafta for ten as they slumped to 18 for four.
Tryon then entered the attack, bowling for the first time in the tournament, and she had Maddy Green caught by Jafta for seven.
New Zealand were in big trouble at 34 for five, with ten overs to play.
Devine and Jensen tried to rebuild for the White Ferns, but the game was starting to slip away from them.
Then a brilliant bit of fielding from Ayabonga Khaka saw Jensen run out for seven to leave New Zealand 47 for six.
And it was 49 for seven shortly after when Devine’s wicket finally fell, falling leg before off Tryon having hit 16 off 26 balls.
Mlaba then trapped Tahuhu in front to take her wicket tally for the evening to three for eight, her best ever in a T20 international.
Shabnim Ismail took a wicket of her own, bowling Jess Kerr for 11 with just under three overs remaining.
And New Zealand could not go the distance, all out for a lowest-ever total in the tournament of 67 as Kapp dismissed Fran Jonas for one.
Scores in brief
South Africa 132 for six in 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 40, Nadine De Klerk 28; Eden Carson 2/23, Lea Tahuhu 2/27)
New Zealand 67 all out in 18.1 overs (Sophie Devine 16, Jess Kerr 11; Nonkululeko Mlaba 3/10, Chloe Tryon 2/12)
Player of the Match: Chloe Tryon (South Africa)