South Africa women take series lead
South Africa 165 for 3 (Lee 75, Matthews 2-43) beat West Indies 115 for 8 (Cooper 26, Kapp 3-31, Khaka 2-8) by 50 runs
Opener Lizelle Lee‘s 75 off 52 balls helped South Africa set up a 50-run win over the hosts West Indies in the second T20I in Antigua and move up 1-0 in the series.
The visitors, who were put in to bat, were off to a strong start with Lee and Dane van Niekerk combining to put up a 53-run opening stand. It was left-arm quick Qiana Joseph who made the breakthrough with van Niekerk’s wicket in the seventh over. But Lee continued on, partnering with Marizanne Kapp this time for the second wicket as the duo put up a 69-run stand. Lee brought up her fifty off 39 balls.
The duo kept the runs flowing before Hayley Matthews thwarted them with a double strike in the 18th over. Lee departed for 75, hitting 12 fours and one six while Kapp was dismissed for a 32-ball 24.
Laura Wolvaardt then provided the perfect finish with a nine-ball 33 in which she cracked four consecutive sixes off Matthews in the last four balls of the innings, taking the total to 165.
The hosts made a good start in the chase, racing to 21 in 2.3 overs. But following Matthews’ dismissal off the next ball, Nonkululeko Mlaba and Kapp struck regularly to keep West Indies’ top-order batters in check with the asking rate climbing. Ayabonga Khaka was frugal in her four overs, conceding just eight runs and picking two wickets.
“We are very happy with how we handled ourselves in today’s match against the West Indies,” Wolvaardt said after the match.
“As a team I feel we did what was required from us and executed our plans very well. This result goes a long way in lifting our confidence for the rest of series against a very strong Windies team and hopefully keep that good performance going.”
Meanwhile, West Indies Women’s Head Coach Courtney Walsh told CWI Media “We didn’t play as well as know we can nor expected to play. They got too many runs up front and then when we batted… our batting went through the door. Hopefully we’ve learnt a lot from it, some good areas to look at. One or two players had good starts, the strike rates we were looking at, a couple of the players achieved it, so it’s not doom and gloom but… we didn’t play as well as we should have. We have one more game to play to draw the series and then five more matches in the ODI series, so we have more cricket to play”
The sides will meet in the decider in the third and final T20I, scheduled to take place at the same venue on September 5. The first T20I was called off due to rain.