West Indies Women knocked out of tri-series after third straight loss

SUMMARY: South Africa 98-0 (Brits 50*, Wolvaardt 42*) beat West Indies 97-6 (Matthews 34, Gajnabi 33, Sekhukhune 2-24) by 10 wickets

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It went from bad to worse for West Indies in the Women’s T20I tri-series in East London on Wednesday. After facing back-to-back defeats in the first two games, another meek batting display saw them restricted to 97.

In reply, openers Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt helped South Africa coast to a 10-wicket win with 38 balls to spare. The result knocked West Indies out of the competition.

Wolvaardt, Brits make easy work of the chase

Wolvaardt flicked the first ball of the 98-run chase for four through wide mid-on. Brits, brought in for Anneke Bosch, also showed intent by using her feet to put the bowlers off. She pulled a full toss through square leg to get going before dancing down and hitting off-spinner Karishma Ramharack over mid-off.

In the interim, Wolvaardt played her trademark cover drive off Shamilia Connell to beat sweeper before cutting the next delivery well past backward point. The pair then took three fours off leg-spinner Afy Fletcher’s opening over to bring up their fifty-run partnership.

While Wolvaardt stuck to the traditional strokes, which are her strength, Brits was adventurous and used the reverse sweeps and heaves after charging down the track in order to attack the bowlers. She also hit the only six of the match.

Same old story for West Indies

Captain Hayley Matthews had won the toss and opted to bat. No side had lost a game in the tri-series after batting first till then. But the lack of intent from the top order was quite surprising.

Left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba kept wicketkeeper-batter Rashada Williams guessing before having her miscue one to mid-off.

The other opener, Britney Cooper, was quite happy to play the waiting game and saw out seven straight dot balls against Marizanne Kapp before getting off the mark. Soon, Shemaine Campbelle, fresh off a 47 against India, was run out and the powerplay saw West Indies crawl to 6-2.

All in all, the top four batters – including Cooper’s 26-ball 10 – scored 17 off 55 balls and the team was languishing at 29-3 at the 10-over mark.

It was only through Matthews, walking in at No. 6, and Shabika Gajnabi‘s 61-run partnership that West Indies reached close to a hundred. They helped West Indies add 30 off the last four overs with Matthews scoring 34 and Gajnabi making 33.

But it was a total well below par. Mlaba finished with 1-7 off her four overs, while Tumi Sekhukhune – coming in for Ayabonga Khaka – finished with 2-24.

South Africa also handed a T20I debut to seam-bowling all-rounder Annerie Dercksen, who replaced Delmi Tucker in the XI, but she gave away 21 off her two overs. (ESPNcricinfo)

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