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|Mignon du Preez||18||15||2||0||120.00|
|Dane van Niekerk||25||29||1||0||86.21|
|Dane van Niekerk||3.0||0||24||0||8.00|
The last round of matches in the England Tri-Nation T20 Women’s Series 2018 are about to get underway. As has been the tradition in the tournament, one team will play two T20 internationals in a single day, New Zealand being that team this time around. The first match of the day is between South Africa and New Zealand. The situation is pretty straightforward for both the teams. South Africa must win its match and then hope that New Zealand loses its last match against England.
If New Zealand manages to win its match against South Africa, though, then its second match will be a dead rubber rehearsal of the final against England. There is everything to play for in the first match for both teams.
After a horrific first day of the tournament where South Africa ended up losing two matches in one day and both by record margins, the South African women hit back with a victory against England. The fact that New Zealand lost its match to England later that day kept them alive in the tournament, but only barely.
The two heavy defeats have left South Africa with a net run rate that is beyond salvage and they cannot realistically to sneak through if they end up with the same points as the other two teams.
This is a tightly contested series where three quality teams are playing. On the basis of the results so far, though, it seems that South Africa is the team with the weakest batting lineup. The match that South Africa won against England was on the back of a good bowling performance that kept the England women to a par total.
That allowed the South African batters to then be able to mount a chase without the scoreboard pressure being insurmountable.
We think for South Africa to be able to beat New Zealand, a similar set of events has to take place. South African bowlers like Ismail, Niekerk, Kapp, and the rest have to keep New Zealand down to a manageable total or pick early wickets to derail a chase.
Suzie Bates will be the batter that the South Africans are most keen to see the back of after the hiding she gave them in the first match but there are other dangerous players as well.
To be fair, it is not like the South African batters are bad. Lee, Luss, and Niekerk have all scored very impressive fifties in the tournament already. Wolvaardt is the one batter from the South African top order that has yet to score but there is definitely some quality in this side.
The South African top order has to play at its best to be able to outscore New Zealand, an impressively powerful batting lineup.
Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Tazmin Brits, Dane van Niekerk, Sune Luus, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Zintle Mali.
As the only team with two games remaining, New Zealand has its fate firmly in its own hands. One victory from any of the two remaining matches will be enough for New Zealand to progress to the finals.
After an incredible batting performance in the first game, New Zealand crumbled to 188 all out in its second. The fact that New Zealand was chasing a relatively large total may have had something to do with that.
New Zealand has to be very wary of South Africa’s pace attack in this last game. They will come better prepared this time around and will know that the New Zealand batting can be stopped with early wickets.
One thing that was clear in the short inning that Suzie Bates played against England was that she is in phenomenal form. If she stays at the crease for 6-8 overs also then she will ensure that New Zealand gets off to a brilliant start.
We don’t think it is likely for New Zealand to shuffle its batting order although we would love to see Amanda Kerr bat higher up the order. Devine, Bates, Martin, Satterwaite, Green, and Kerr make for a deep batting lineup.
Currently, Bates and Devine lead the scoring charts by a fair margin while no one else has yet amassed over thirty runs. It will be very interesting to see how New Zealand copes if South Africa is able to get a few quick wickets.
The tournament has been a bit disappointing for New Zealand’s bowlers so far. Kerr has not been able to take a single wicket, and part-timers like Bates, Tahuhu, and Rowe have gone for plenty of runs.
The best bowlers have been Jensen, Kasperek, and Devine.
The New Zealand bowling is definitely talented and has the ability to defend small totals or bowl teams out but the poor form of Kerr will be a concern. The bowling can become slightly one-paced the spinners are not bowling well.
Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite, Maddy Green, Amelia Kerr, Anna Peterson, Leigh Kasperek, Hayley Jensen, Lea Tahuhu, Kate Ebrahim.
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 current weather forecast for Bristol is excellent and promises a clear, sunshine filled day for uninterrupted cricket. The pitch in Bristol should be slightly slower than what we saw in Taunton but still be very good for batting. Scores have been high in the series so far and that is not going to change. 170 should be considered par.
South Africa has now been beaten four out of the last five times that they have played against New Zealand. South Africa is a good team, though, and it did just beat England very convincingly. They are available at an unbelievable price right now and we think there is definitely some money to be made here.
Back South Africa to win.