West Indies Women lose first match of Tri-series

West Indies Women suffered a 44-run defeat against South Africa Women in their first match of the T20I Tri-series at Buffalo Park in South Africa on Saturday.

The series features India Women, South Africa Women and West Indies Women and serves as a warm up to the ICC Women’s World Cup which starts on February 10.

After suffering a whitewash in the five match T20 series against England in November last year, West Indies struggled with the bat once again in a much changed line up, crumbling to 97-8 in their allotted 20 overs after restricting South Africa to a competitive score of 141-5.

West Indies Women have now lost each of their last ten T20Is with their last win coming on September 28 against New Zealand Women.

Captain Hayley Matthews lost the toss and South Africa decided to bat first on the sluggish track. Barbadian fast bowler Shamilia Connell struck in the fourth over to send opener Anneke Bosch back inside when she was caught trying to lift one over the Britney Cooper at mid off.

Laura Wolvaardt made sure her side recovered in the powerplay to 43-1, thanks in part to some glorious cover drives from the right hander. When she fell in the ninth over to the spin bowling of Shabika Gajnabi, the onus was on Marizanne Kapp to get the side to a par score and she answered with a half century, looking at home in her role as a No. 3 batter.

During her knock of 52, she hit four boundaries and kept the score ticking along with some smart running and rotation of strike. At the crease with skipper Sune Luus, the duo put on 63 runs for the third wicket before Matthews dismissed both in the 18th over, running out her opposite number, then getting Kapp to hold out to Gajnabi, stationed at long off.

In response West Indies started reasonably well on an increasingly difficult pitch to score on. Openers Matthews and Cooper put on 32 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed on 15 trying to clear mid off in the last over of the powerplay.

From there, the side collapsed to 67-6. Matthews tried to lead from the front with a patient knock of 23 runs from 35 balls, but when she fell to an excellent catch by Wolvaardt at point, it became an uphill task to chase the total.

Chief tormentor was Masabata Klass whose medium pace got lynchpin Matthews out and then trapped Gajnabi LBW first ball. There were minor contributions along the way, most notably Connell’s 15 down at eight, but the game was over well before Klass bowled Afy Fletcher with a well directed yorker in the 19th over to make the score 90-8. That yorker saw Klass finish with career best figures of 4-21.

Up next for West Indies Women are India Women on Monday.

Summarised Scores:

South Africa Women 141-5 (Marizanne Kapp 52, Sune Luus 30; Shamilia Connell 2-17). West Indies Women 97-8 (Hayley Matthews 23, Britney Cooper 15; Masabata Klass 4-21). South Africa Women win by 44 runs.

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