After the 3-0 whitewash in the ODI’S against South Africa, New Zealand has come back strongly in a format where they have done exceedingly well in the past. Not only have they put the humiliation of the whitewash behind them, but they have also come out positive and with a determination to do well keeping the all-important world cup in mind.
Coming off on the back of a good win in the first T20I, New Zealand after winning the toss in Seddon Park, Hamilton, decided to field first as captain Sophie Devine seemed confident of her side’s strength to restrict the opposition and chase the target down.
South African openers Lizelle Lee & Laura Wolvaardt came out to bat with Leigh Kasperek given the duty of bowling the new ball. Things didn’t start well for the South Africans as they lost Lee (2 off 5) early and also Nadine de Klerk (9 off 16) fell cheaply. Wolvaardt (22 off 18) & Dane van Niekerk ( 25 off 22) got starts but couldn’t carry on for long. Mignon Du Preez played a solid hand scoring 40 off 26 with 4 boundaries and 2 maximums helping South Africa to get to 119 before they were bowled out in 19.4 overs. What was disappointing to see was no contribution from the lower middle order which dented the eventual scoreline. Lea Tahuhu who has made a comeback into the White Ferns attack after motherhood was the pick of the bowlers picking up 2 wickets giving away only 10 runs in her 4 overs along with Rosemary Mair who picked up 2 wickets as well.
Chasing 120 was never going to be a daunting task for the White Ferns given their batting line up as skipper Sophie Devine opened the innings scoring a magnificent 61 off 43 which included 5 huge sixes thus wiping out half the target along with notable contribution from Maddy Green ( 23 off 20) thus chasing the target down in 18.2 overs with 5 wickets remaining and securing their second consecutive win in this T20I series and going 2-0 up. South African bowlers tried hard with the limited opportunity they got as they did not have enough to defend with Ayabonga Khaka picking up 2 wickets giving away 24 in her 4 overs.
South Africa face a do or die game on Sunday, 9th Feb at Wellington in the 3rd T20I to stay alive in the 5 match series and it will be interesting to see the ploy that South Africa comes out with against a strong, resilient Kiwi setup.