TAROUBA, Trinidad – The final T20 international turned out to be a thrilling encounter, as South Africa, with a ball to spare, leveled the series at 2 matches a piece.
Even with a brilliant inning of 71 (52 balls) from WINDIES opener, Hayley Matthews, it was not enough to stop the South African Women from drawing the T20 segment of the Sandals International Home Series, after trailing 2 – 0.
Two other WINDIES batters got scores of over 20 runs; Natasha McLean (23 runs from 33 balls) and Shemaine Campbell (28 runs from 17 balls) were the two significant contributors to the regional side reaching a commendable total of 155 – 5 from their 20 Overs, after only amassing 28 runs in the power play.
The South African bowlers split the wickets, with Saarah Smith picking up 2-24 in two overs and Klaas, Sekhukhun and Mali getting one wicket a piece.
The South African Women began their chase in a haste, scoring fairly freely in the power play, eventually getting 55 runs during that period. Openers, Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt, once again led from the front scoring 42 (24 balls) and 23 (13 balls) respectively, before the WINDIES Women started to take wickets at regular intervals.
However, batter, Mignon Du Preez and Captain Chloe Tryon, came in and played handy innings of 25 (21) and 31 (22), which set the stage for Marizanne Kapp to all but see out the match, ending on 18 from 17 balls.
The WINDIES bowlers evenly split the workload, in an attempt to take the match from South Africa’s grasp, with everyone picking up at least one wicket. Shamilia Connell did one-better, by claiming figures of 2 – 20, in her 3.5 overs. In the end, South Africa got over the hump on the penultimate ball of the final over, with Klaas and Smith at the crease.
The South African Women will be pleased with their performance in the series. With the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament being played in the West Indies in a few weeks, they will consider a well-fought draw against the hosts and defending champions to be invaluable experience.
Both teams will meet again in the group stages of the competition.