Recent Match Report – NZ Women vs SA Women 16th Match 2021/22


Amelia Kerr’s three-four and Sophie Devine’s 93 go in vain for New Zealand, who go down for the third time in the tournament

South Africa 229/8 (Wolvaardt 67, Luus 51, Amelia Kerr 3-50) beat New Zealand 228 all out (Devine 93, Ismail 3-27) by two wickets

A heroic performance by Marizanne Kapp followed a dramatic South African effort was at the fore again as South Africa continued their winning streak in the Women’s World Cup. The allrounder scored 36 off 35 balls as South Africa made hard work of what should have been a simple chase and snuck home by two wickets to notch up fourth successive victory in the competition.
It was also their 13th win chasing in 15 matches (with one no-result and one-tie), and their first victory over New Zealand in World Cups and sees them draw level on points with Australia at the top spot. The result leaves South Africa one win away from securing a semi-final spot and hosts New Zealand in a precarious position and at risk of missing out on the knockouts.
South Africa were cruising on 161 for 2 in the 36th over, scoring close to the required run-rate, with wickets in hand. Laura Wolvaardt had racked up her third successive half-century, after being put down on 33; Sune Luus was on her way to a second fifty and Amelia Kerr, whose first seven overs cost 46 runs was brought on to bowl.

Cue chaos.

South Africa lost three wickets for nine runs in 27 balls, including both Wolvaardt and Luus, to leave it to the lower-order to finish the chase. South Africa needed 59 runs off 59 balls when Luus was dismissed. Kapp and Chloe Tyron, the same pair who got South Africa out of jail against England, came together to put on 28 runs off 30 balls but Tryon couldn’t see it through. She stepped out and hit Frances Mackay to Amelia at deep midwicket at the start of the 46th over. South Africa needed 31 off 29 balls.
When Trisha Chetty, who was with Kapp in the England game, arrived and swung big but got a leading edge for Mackay to collect a return catch, South Africa needed 18 runs off 17 deliveries. Then Shabnim Ismail, who finished the England game with Chetty, was bowled by Sophie Devine in the penultimate over, leaving South Africa needing 12 off 10 balls.

Ayabonga Khaka, who was not needed to bat in the previous two matches, missed the first ball she faced which almost took the edge and top-edged the second ball but it fell safely between mid-off and mid-on to put Kapp back on strike. Kapp smashed Devine over mid-off for four and then pushed her to long-on to ensure she would face in the final over. South Africa needed six runs from six balls.

Mackay was tasked with defending the final over. Off the first ball, Kapp stepped out, took the ball on the full and slog swept it for four. Off the second, she ran a single to long-on, and then met Khaka mid-pitch for a lengthy conversation. With scores level, Khaka went on the backfoot to punch Mackay to mid-off for a quick scramble to complete the win as the dressing room jumped up in joy.

Kapp sank to her haunches in relief. “I’m tired,” she told the television interviewee afterwards. So were New Zealand after they came back well, but not well enough.

In the end, New Zealand didn’t have enough runs to play with after they were kept to 228 on a good Seddon Park pitch. South Africa’s attack found swing early and then took pace off the ball to prompt a lower order collapse. New Zealand lost 6 for 30 in 46 balls and failed to bat out their fifty overs.

Devine fell seven runs short of a second century at this World Cup and put New Zealand in a position to push for a big score. She shared in an 81-run stand for the second wicket with Amelia and 80 for the fourth wicket with Maddy Green but New Zealand could not get away from South Africa’s quicks. Ismail struck at the top and bottom of the innings, Khaka had two catches dropped but still finished with three wickets while Kapp took two wickets in two balls at the death to cap off an dominant performance from the quicks.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent