31 March 2013 South Africa thrashed Ireland by 86 runs at the ICC Women’s World Twenty in Sylhet, Bangladesh on Saturday to set up a showdown against New Zealand on Monday which will decide whether or not the Proteas progress to the semi-finals. With their huge victory, South Africa improved their net run rate significantly. Most importantly, it is now better than the White Ferns’, which means a win would pull Mignon du Preez’s team level with the Kiwis on points, but above them on net run rate. The Proteas were expected to beat Ireland, who fell to their third loss in three outings, but the one-sided nature of the result was perhaps a little surprising.‘It was wonderful’ South Africa went into the game on the back of a hard-fought six wicket loss to Australia, so Proteas’ coach Hilton Moreeng was happy to see his side back on the winning track. “It was wonderful to see such a good fight back from the team today,” he said afterwards. “It’s always difficult to bounce back after a loss, having played so well against a team like Australia. “I’m very proud of their professionalism and character during this match. The batters did so well up front to set us up and our bowlers were just exceptional.”Good start Du Preez elected to bat and Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk, who put on 163 without loss against Pakistan, again got the team off to a good start, posting 57 for the first wicket before Van Niekerk departed for 25. Lee fell for the innings’ top score of 43 with the total on 72 in the 14th over, but some clean hitting by Chloe Tryon and Sune Luus saw the run rate soar in the closing overs, with Tryon finishing undefeated on 35 off only 12 deliveries, with three fours and three sixes, while Luus ended on 29 not out from just 10 deliveries, with six fours.Irish innings Ireland, in reply, lost Clare Shillington in the first over, but then steadied their innings as wicketkeeper Mary Waldron and captain Isobel Joyce added 41 for the second wicket before Waldron was stumped by Trisha Chetty off the bowling of Marcia Letsoala for Ireland’s top score of 33. Joyce went on to make 15 and Melissa Scott-Hayward 14, but when she departed on 67, another victim of Lesoalo, the Irish innings folded, with the next highest scorer making only six runs. The absence of Cecilia Joyce because of an injury did not help either.Standout bowlers Proteas’ opening bowler Shabnim Ismail led the assault on the Irish batswomen, capturing an eye-opening 3 for 5 in her three overs, while Dane van Niekerk did her bit by picking up 3 for 10 in two overs of leg spin. Letsoalo, who made two important breakthroughs, finished with 2 for 23 in her three overs.
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