New Zealand hold their nerves to beat South Africa by 13 Runs in a Thriller

Day 2 of cricketing action at the Commonwealth Games had group B teams in action starting with New Zealand and South Africa. The game witnessed Suzie Bates’s special that helped New Zealand post a strong total having put into bat first. South Africa opting to chase did manage to get as middle order batters understood the assignment but couldn’t pull off the win as New Zealand held on.

 

Suzie Bates' Unbeaten 91 demolish South Africa's bowling attack. PC: Getty Images
Suzie Bates’ Unbeaten 91 demolish South Africa’s bowling attack. PC: Getty Images

1st innings: New Zealand – 167/2 (20)

South Africa having won the toss and deciding to bowl first didn’t have the desired start as New Zealand’s opening pair of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine got going well. With 49 on board, the Kiwi pair ended their powerplay making a strong start. Sophie Devine opened her arms in the final couple of powerplay overs, but couldn’t continue at the same pace as boundaries went dry and looking to step up departed on 48(40) and it was Mlaba’s reintroduction that saw South Africa have a breakthrough with 99 on board. Amelia Kerr with a boundary got New Zealand edge past 100 in the 14th over and soon Suzie Bates on the other end got to her 50* off 44 balls. New Zealand required a strong finish and set Suzie Bates produced one smashing 15 runs off Ismail in the 19th over and then punishing Khaka for 18 runs in the final over that powered New Zealand’s total to a strong 167 in their 20 overs. Amelia Kerr was run out of the last ball on 20(16) and Bates remained unbeaten on 91 off 64. For South Africa, the only wicket-taker Nonkululeko Mlaba was on the chart with one to her name. Not to miss out on a mention to Chloe Tryon who finished her 4 over conceding only 20 runs, but didn’t have a reward come her way.

2nd innings : South Africa – 154/7 (20)

South Africa in reply lost Anneke Bosch early on 3(7) as Hayley Jensen struck. Hannah Rowe too joined the wickets tally as Tazmin Brits’ defensive stay saw curtains. Laura Wolvaardt and Mignon du Preez safely guided South Africa to the halfway stage without losing a wicket more and had a good 60 on board as the duo didn’t hold back on playing their shots. The crucial 46-run stand was broken by Amelia Kerr having stuck du Preez on 26(22). Skipper, Sophie Devine reintroduced herself into the attack and struck the big wicket of Laura Wolvaardt on 28(30) and New Zealand had a couple in quick succession. Chloe Tryon started to give back to the Kiwi bowlers having understood the need of the hour by smashing Tahuhu for a 21 run over but in the very next over was run out by Jensen to end her carnage on 39(17). Skipper, Sune Luus managed to get a few away and a good over, but it’d come too late and she too was soon dismissed on 32(18) and a decent final over saw South Africa fall short by 13 runs. For New Zealand, skipper Sophie lead the chart with 3 to her name and had Hannah Rowe, Amelia Kerr and Hayley Jensen follow with a wicket each to their name.

South Africa couldn’t have a good start and the middle order when tried to accelerate they’d nearly lost the plot, but there still are a few positives that South Africa can build on. New Zealand had a near escape today and their young bowling attack has got to step up before the next game. As it today was experienced Sophie Devine who led with example both with bat and ball as did Suzie Bates with the bat and on-field catching sharp ones to register a win for New Zealand.

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