A below par batting performance saw the Proteas Women lose the first T20 International against New Zealand by nine wickets on Sunday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Coming into the match with three changes from the last ODI match in the form of captain Dane van Niekerk, Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp who all missed out due to minor injuries the South African women were no match for their far superior opponents.
Hoping for a positive start like the 50-over contests, the Proteas led by Chloe Tryon, posted a low total of 116/7 despite being 56/1 after the first 10 overs.
The hosts comfortably chased the 117-run target set by the Proteas, who had lost the toss and were tasked to bat first. The only glitch in the largely one-sided contest for the host was the wicket of Rachel Priest who had to depart for a well-played 37 off 28 balls stumped by Trisha Chetty off the bowling of Tumi Sekhukhune.
After the wicket of Priest, the experienced Suzie Bates walked in to join the destructive Sophie Devine. The duo with their 42- run partnership quickly wrapped up proceedings and lead their side to a comfortable victory.
The White Ferns captain, Devine, who did not fire during the One-Day Internationals was in a punishing mood from the outset, hitting three boundaries and four sixes in her player of the match performance.
The Proteas for their part failed to put up a challenging total, with Laura Wolvaardt the only player with a descent return of 33 from 35 balls in their 20 overs. Amelia Kerr and Lea Tahuhu were the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with notable figures of 2/17 each.
The T20 series is of importance for the Proteas Women, as it is another step in their preparations for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup taking place in Australia the next month.
The teams will now head back to Hamilton where the second T20 International will take place on Thursday at Seddon Park.
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