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March 31, 2014
South Africa Women 116 for 5 (Du Preez 51) beat New Zealand Women 114 for 8 (Devine 40, Kapp 3-23) by five wickets
South Africa Women made their first World Twenty20 semi-finals, beating New Zealand Women by five wickets and knocking them out of the tournament in the process. While it was jubilation for South Africa, it was heartbreak for New Zealand who went out after their first and only defeat in the tournament. On the same day that their male counterparts could not chase down 120, the women failed to defend 114, meaning New Zealand will have no representation in Mirpur come the knockout stages of the showpiece T20 event.
New Zealand chose to bat and were making good progress at 82 for 2 in the 15th, but then they could not get the final surge. Instead they lost six wickets while adding only 32 more in the final five. The biggest contribution came from Sophie Devine, who made 40 off 43. She was thwarted by medium pacer Marizanne Kapp, who in turn produced the best figures for South Africa: 3 for 23.
South Africa got off to a bit of a wobbly start in the chase, losing two within four overs, but partnerships of 36 and 54 for the next two wickets - both involving Mignon du Preez - got the innings back on track. There was another tremor in the 19th over, with two going down in two balls, but they eventually got home with four balls to spare, sparking much celebrations for the team. Du Preez with 51 off 47 was declared the Player of the Match.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?