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|Dane van Niekerk||6.0||0||14||1||2.33|
|Mignon du Preez||35||27||8||0||129.63|
In the recent times, the best thing to happen to International Cricket is the surge in popularity of Women's Cricket. The quality of cricket in women's cricket has also grown rapidly in recent times and that has led to increased fans' participation and closer contests between the international teams. The first ODI between New Zealand Women and South Africa Women turned out to be fairly well contested as South Africa defeated the hosts with seven wickets to spare. The second match between the two sides is expected to be a lot closer with both teams likely to bridge the gaps they displayed in the opening encounter. The upcoming match is to be played at Eden Park, Auckland, on 26th January.
Friday was the day of disappointments as not only their men's team lost to India, the women's team were also pushed to the wall after being in a pretty good position. It is a three match series, which the first match was a part of, and coming back from behind would be a big challenge for the Kiwis.
Batting first on a ground with small boundaries and a terrific surface to bat on, New Zealand's lower middle-order didn't click as New Zealand finished with a total of just over 250 runs. With 146 for 3 and more than 16 overs to go, New Zealand looked in a position to dictate terms, but Suzie Bates' dismissal triggered a mini-collapse, from which the Kiwis found it difficult to recover.
Late cameos from Jensen and Rachel Priest pushed their total beyond 250, but it was too little too trouble the in-form Proteas' unit. New Zealand needed early wickets to keep South Africa from getting to the target and once the Proteas got off to the start they did, the hosts were left playing catch-up cricket. They did pick up a couple of wickets in between, but the extent of damage was too little too late to cause any trouble whatsoever for the Proteas.
Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Maddy Green, Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Katie Perkins, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Jess Kerr, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek.
It was a superb day for South African women's team as they won the match without any significant discomfort. Their batting as well as their bowling both looked pretty settled on the day as they won the first match of the series by seven wickets and more than an over to spare.
Chasing a total of 259, Laura Wolvadaart and Lizelle Lee helped Proteas pull off a record win, their second-highest chase in ODI cricket. Sune Luus and Dane van Niekerk failed to do anything of substance, but they weren't required to either. Lizelle Lee played a fantastic innings of 99 and laid the foundation of the chase before getting dismissed. Wolvaardt carried on with his slow yet useful innings and along with Mignon du Preez, she sealed wth deal with nine balls to spare.
Earlier with the ball, Masabata Klaas and Ayabonga Khaka played a key role to restrict New Zealand to a manageable total. Klaas and Khaka returned with the impressive figures of 3 for 37 and 3 for 43 in respectively. Going in the second match, the Proteas would certainly be the more confident of two sides and getting past them is not going to be easy for the hosts.
Dane van Niekerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee, Ayabonga Khaka, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Masabata Klaas.
New Zealand have everything to play for in the second ODI. A loss here will close the series for them and they are likely to come out all gunz blazing. With a win in the first match, the Proteas have finally managed to break in to the top-four sides and will be looking for another couple of wins to challenge India on the championship points table. Having said that, it won't be an easy task to defeat the Kiwis again. Considering how the two teams are stacked on paper and the performances of the two sides in the opening match of the series, South Africa appear to be better placed and are, therefore, better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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