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|Nadine de Klerk||23||26||3||0||88.46|
|Mignon du Preez||20||20||1||1||100.00|
New Zealand Cricket fans are certainly having a hard time, of late. Not only was their men's team faced a heavy defeat in their T20I series against India, their Women's team suffered a white-wash from the hands of the Proteas. The Kiwi women will be hoping for the change of their fortunes with the change of formats as they now host the Proteas in a three-match T20I series. While the team combination is likely to remain almost same for both the sides, the challenge of playing in the shortest format of the game is altogether different. We expect New Zealand to put up a better effort and push South Africa hard in the opening encounter of the series. The first match of the series is to be played on 2nd February at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.
After being 2-0 down in the series, New Zealand needed a strong performance with the bat in the third match, but they failed miserably. Batting first on a pretty good surface to bat on, New Zealand's openers were dismissed cheaply. Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine brought them back with a brilliant 59-run partnership, but apart from that the Kiwis had a sorry story to tell as far as batting is concerned.
With little cameos from Katie Perkins, KJ Martin, and Amelia Kerr, the Kiwis somehow crawled to a total of 149, which proved too difficult for them to defend. The likes of Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr, and JM Kerr bowled their heart out and managed to pick four Proteas' wickets, but could not keep them scoring the required total.
Overall, the Kiwis failed to live up to their potential in the ODI series. Apart from the first match, their batsmen never looked in touch and are likely to find it hard in the T20Is as well. They are likely to adapt to the shorter format better and we expect them to put up a better challenge in the T20I series.
Katey Martin, Rachel Priest, Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Katie Perkins, Sophie Devine, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Leigh Kasperek, Rosemary Mair, Lea Tahuhu.
South Africa didn't walk into the ODI series as favorites, but they surely are walking into the T20Is like the favorites. With a spectacular performance in the ODI series, South Africa earned a direct spot for the World Cup.
The Proteas were superb in the longer version of the game and will be looking to produce a similar performance in the T20Is as well. Their bowlers were brilliant in second and third ODI both and will be looking to carry on with the momentum in the first T20I as well.
Bowling first in the last ODI, their bowlers did a brilliant job of keeping the Kiwis' scoring rate in check before Sune Luus wreaked the Kiwis batting unit with six wickets. Consequently, the hosts were left with a total of just 149 runs, which the Proteas chased down with significant ease. For them, Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, and skipper Dane van Niekerk have been in fantastic form and will be an even bigger threat in the shortest version of the game.
Lizelle Lee, Trisha Chetty, Laura Wolvaardt, Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nonkululeko Mlaba.
The Kiwis are having a hard time in international cricket at the women and their women's team will be looking for a turn-around with the change in formats. Considering that they are coming off three heart-wreaking defeats in the ODIs, they'll be low on confidence. Keeping the team composition of both the sides in mind and the their recent respective performances, the Proteas are firm favorites to win the first match of the series.
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