Galle, Sep 29: New Zealand registered a 22-run win over South Africa in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 here on Friday.
New Zealand put together a formidable 151 for five in 20 overs after being put in to bat by South Africa. The innings was propelled by Sophie Devine and Frances Mackay, who put together a 94-run stand for the third wicket.
Devine registered her maiden T20I fifty when she smashed 59 off just 46 balls. Her knock was studded with five fours and three sixes. Mackay made her way to 49 before being dismissed in the penultimate over of the innings.
After losing their opening game to the West Indies, captain Suzie Bates was pleased with her team's performance: "We were a little nervous coming into the game for sure. It is such a relief to get back on track. It is a World Twenty20 and you do expect the teams to come hard at you. It was good that we exhibited tremendous positivity and got the right result going into the last game."
"I had already decided that I had to bat positively no matter what," Devine said. "I was also helped by the fact that it was a very good pitch to bat on. I think Frances [Mackay] took a lot of pressure off me."
Dane van Niekerk and Susan Benade picked up two wickets each.
Chasing 151, South Africa lost openers Shandre Fritz and Trisha Chetty cheaply and South Africa was reduced to 15 for two in the fourth over. Alison Hodgkinson and Benade set about repairing the innings, but Benade fell to the medium pace of Nicola Brown on 24, after smashing two fours and two sixes.
After Hodgkinson was dismissed for 31 by Mackay, South Africa tried to produce big shots. Captain Mignon du Preez said of her team's strategy: "If you're going down, better to go down giving yourself an opportunity to score some runs too. No point just batting out the overs."
Browne was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 13, while Devine had two. All teams in group B - Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies - have one win each with one match to play, and have a chance of moving through to the semi-finals.
Scores in Brief
At GICS, New Zealand beat South Africa by 22 runs
New Zealand 151-5, 20 overs (Sophie Devine 59, Frances Mackay 49; Susanna Maria Benade 2-15, Dane van Niekerk 2-29) beat South Africa 129-9, 20 overs (Dane van Niekerk 34, Alison Hodgkinson 31; Nicola Browne 3-13)
Player of the Match - Sophie Devine (New Zealand)