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New Zealand Women vs South Africa Women: White Ferns Complete Hat-trick Of Wins

By on June 15, 2009

icc women's world twenty20 - Aimee Watkins

New Zealand Women won by 6 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)…

Undefeated New Zealand gave South Africa a lesson in the art of limited-overs cricket as it recorded its third successive win to march into the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2009 semi-finals on Monday.

Aimee Watkins’s side had too much know-how for their spirited Group A opponents as they restricted their opponents to 124-4 in persistent drizzle before easing home by six wickets and with 11 balls to spare.

“I thought we did really well today, especially with those conditions in the field,” said Watkins. “We were always looking comfortable to reach the target. It was a good all-round performance.”

New Zealand now travels to Trent Bridge for the first semi-final on Thursday, with India its likely opponent. England and Australia, who play their last matches on Tuesday, look set to contest the other semi-final at The Oval on Friday. Both matches will be staged as double-headers with the men’s semi-finals.

South Africa, though, have not given up hope of advancing, despite two defeats in a row.

“We played better cricket than we did against West Indies. If we had put in a similar performance against them we would have won that game,” said skipper Sunette Loubser.”

“If we beat Australia on Tuesday we are in with a chance to still go through on run rate.”

The South Africans, put in, slumped to 30-3 only for player of the match Cri-Zelda Brits (57 not out off 51 balls) and Susanna Benade (44 off 46) to add 91 for the fourth wicket.

Yet the pair too often went in search of the spectacular at the expense of easy singles, leaving their team 30 runs short of a really challenging total.

New Zealand could even afford a couple of cheap dismissals on their way to victory. Opener Suzie Bates, catching the eye again, hit the shot of the innings, a lofted cover drive off 16-year-old leg spinner Dane van Niekerk but gave her wicket away when attempting a repeat off Loubser’s off spin. She made 24.

The left-handed Watkins, meanwhile, survived the ball of the day when van Niekerk, with an action reminiscent of Shane Warne, cut a ball through her defences only for it to clear the stumps. Having blasted van Niekerk over extra over and driven the lively Shabnim Ismail square for four to reach 35, though, Watkins lofted lazily to midwicket.

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