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|Mignon du Preez||36||31||4||0||116.13|
|Dane van Niekerk||58||44||9||1||131.82|
|Dane van Niekerk||4.0||0||39||0||9.75|
The English and South African women played out an exciting ODI contest which England won and now they will lock horns in a tri-nation T20 series with New Zealand as the third team. This match will actually be the first of two that South Africa plays in one day and we are not sure if that is entirely fair considering the other teams only have to play one. Still, it seems scheduling is a result of broadcaster concerns and they just had to squeeze in another match on the day.
This T20 series assumes a little more importance than on other occasions as the Women’s T20 World Cup is just a few months away.
Easily one of the most improved women’s sides in the world, South Africa cam very close to registering its first series victory in England. In fact, it took a very special performance by the opposition captain to be able to stop South Africa from beating England. Now, the question is going to be whether South Africa is going to be able to maintain the same intensity in back to back international games or will it be asking for a bit too much from them.
South Africa will be hoping that its bowlers are able to run through New Zealand easily in the first match so that they are fresh for the challenge against England. That is not going to be an easy task, however, as the New Zealand batting is in amazing form.
Luckily, Ismail, van Niekerk, Kapp, Khaka, and the part-timers are going to be up for it. This South African team has made a name for itself by being extremely tough and fighting till the end. We are interested to see f the South African fast bowlers can adapt to a T20 line and length to make sure that they are able to stop runs while looking for wickets at the same time.
Often, bowlers find it difficult to switch from different formats very easily and end up suffering.
The South Africans also have a strong batting lineup that cannot be taken lightly. Lizelle Lee is the standout player of the team and she just had an excellent ODI series. If she is able to continue scoring runs in the same manner then we could see South Africa flourish in this competition.
Wolvaardt, van Niekerk, du Preez, and Tryon are all going to be very crucial to the South African effort. It is unfair to expect Lee to do all the heavy lifting in every game but her importance to this batting lineup cannot be understated.
South Africa also needs to work on its fielding. New Zealand is one of the best fielding teams and extremely fit. They end up stealing extra runs on the field and can pull off some amazing catches. If South Africa wants to compete with England and New Zealand then it will have to make sure that all the players are giving a hundred percent on the field as well.
Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Tazmin Brits, Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez, Stacey Lackay, Sune Luus, Shabnim Ismail, Zintle Mali, Raisibe Ntozakhe.
New Zealand has been making waves and scoring a record amount of runs in the ODI format of late. Of course, their opponents were the Ireland women’s team, not the highest quality opposition. The New Zealander’s may find the going a lot tougher against one of the strongest bowling lineups of the world.
There is no doubt that playing some tough cricket against England in the ODI series would have alerted South Africa to the challenge ahead. The days when England and Australia were streets ahead of everyone else in the women’s game are over and South Africa is emerging as one of the genuine challengers.
New Zealand’s strength is its batting and they will be hoping that players like Bates, Devine, Kerr, and the others can continue their good form from the ODI series against New Zealand. It is fair to say that New Zealand can lay claim to having one of the strongest batting lineups in the women’s game and on their day they can set a huge total with ease.
The T20 game, however, brings the teams closer together and the short duration of the match means that a couple of cameos are enough to cause an upset. New Zealand will have to be wary of the fact that South Africa possesses one of the best pace bowling attacks going around and so choosing the right time to attack is going to be paramount.
New Zealand’s bowling will depend on Tahuhu, Huddleston, Devine, and Jensen. The X-factor is going to be the leg spin of Amelia Kerr who is sure to attract a lot of attention in this series. The New Zealand bowling set up has enjoyed having a large score to defend on many occasions but they may be tasked with a different challenge in this series.
South Africa’s top order is going to come hard at the New Zealand team and they may find the going tough if they are unable to get some early wickets in the game.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Anna Peterson, Amy Satterthwaite, Hannah Rowe, Leigh Kasperek, Hayley Jensen, Lea Tahuhu.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The weather forecast for Taunton is not very encouraging at the moment. There is a 40% chance of rain forecast and the weather is expected to be gloomy throughout the day. The forecast actually improves a little as the day goes on so maybe we get lucky and are able to see a match played out.
The pitch in Taunton is going to be flat and excellent for batting. It is also a ground where short boundaries will be made shorter by pulling the ropes in and so we should get plenty of big hits. A score of around 140-150 will be considered par.
New Zealand is playing in conditions similar to what they experience at home and will be facing a South African team will have another international game later in the day on its mind. New Zealand has also lost to South Africa just once in the last five T20 internationals between the two teams. We think it is safe to back the White Ferns in this encounter.
Back New Zealand to win.
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