South Africa 132 for 6 (Tryon 40, de Klerk 28, Carson 2-23, Tahuhu 2-27) beat New Zealand 67 (Devine 16, Jess 11, Mlaba 3-10, Tryon 2-12) by 65 runs
A fired-up South Africa reignited their home World Cup campaign with a 65-run win over New Zealand in front of a boisterous Boland Park crowd.
After their shock defeat to Sri Lanka in the tournament opener and with six of the playing XI including captain Sune Luus going unsold in the WPL auction, South Africa responded with a determined batting and disciplined on-fielding performance, to defend successfully against New Zealand for the first time. It was also only their third victory over New Zealand from 13 previous meetings and it has left New Zealand on the brink of elimination.
New Zealand will be disappointed with the way they let things slip after they had South Africa 78 for 5 in the 13th over, but then lost their control. They were messy in the field and put down four catches, all in the last five overs, which South Africa entered on 97 for 5. The hosts scored 35 runs and lost only one wicket in that time to post what seemed a slightly under-par score.
They made it look worth much more, though, with a stunning new-ball performance on a spin-friendly pitch. Nonkululeko Mlaba took two wickets in her first two overs and finished with a career-best 3 for 10. Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka claimed one apiece and New Zealand finished the Powerplay on 19 for 4, with little chance of clawing their way back. Chloe Tryon accounted for Maddy Green and Sophie Devine, who batted at No.5, before Shabnim Ismail and Kapp finished thing off. New Zealand were dismissed for their second-lowest total in T20Is.
Tahuhu causes trouble
Kapp, who was picked by Delhi Capitals at the WPL auction earlier in the day, was in to bat early after Tazmin Brits was dismissed in the first over but she did not live up to her US$183,000 tagline. After slicing Jess Kerr over point and flicking Lea Tahuhu off her pads for four, Kapp tried to hit New Zealand's most experienced bowler over mid-off but top-edged and sent the ball straight to Jess at mid-off to leave South Africa's middle-order exposed again.
And Tahuhu wasn't done either. She was brought back on in the ninth over as South Africa were rebuilding and started with a pinpoint yorker to Laura Wolvaardt. She pulled her length back for the next ball, and the next one, and an impatient Wolvaardt tried to heave across the line but missed as Tahuhu hit middle and off stumps. South Africa were 56 for 4 after nine overs, with their top four all back in the dug-out.
Tryon turns up
Tryon has established herself as South Africa's finisher but had a lot longer to bat as South Africa's top order gave way. She was in in the seventh over and immediately showed positive intent when she flicked Hayley Jensen to fine leg. As wickets fell around her, Tryon found boundaries in every second over or so to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
She was strong in the V and behind square, hitting the ball hard down the ground and on the pull, but then she also got lucky. She was dropped when she tried to cut Tahuhu and toe-edged to the right of Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who moved too late to get her hands to it. Tryon went on to make 40 off 34 balls, and shared in a 47-run sixth-wicket stand with Nadine de Klerk, which gave South Africa much needed lower-order runs.
Mlaba finds her magic
Mlaba was tipped for big things in this tournament after recently moving to No. 2 on the ICC Women's T20 bowling rankings and had opened the bowling 18 times in 27 matches since her debut. Still, South Africa opted to use seamers Shabnim Ismail and Kapp at Newlands before returning to Mlaba for this match, and she stormed back.
She struck with the second ball of New Zealand's reply to remove Bezuidenhout with a full, flighted delivery on fifth stump outside off that enticed an attempted push towards cover. Instead, the ball spun past the edge and into the waiting gloves of Sinalo Jafta, who whipped off the bails. With the first ball of her next over, Mlaba bowled Suzie Bates for a second consecutive duck with one that skidded on to beat the opener's attempted pull and crash into middle stump. She returned in the 15th over and had Tahuhu trapped lbw as she tried to flick across the line and missed.
New Zealand batters stumble again
This was the second match in a row that New Zealand's batting line-up had failed to fire. Having opened with Bates and Devine, who also made a duck, they had been 26 for 3 against Australia, winners by a whopping 97 runs.
On Monday, Devine came in with her side 13 for 3 and things failed to improve from there as Jafta took three catches to reduce them to 31 for 5. At 51 for 8, New Zealand looked in danger of being bowled out for their lowest total in T20Is. As it happened, their 67 all out was instead their second-lowest, and came just two days after their fourth-lowest of 76.