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
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