South Africa Women ended the first T20 thriller against Ireland with the winning shot from Dinesha Devenarain. Chasing the score of 140, the team ran over Ireland to notch the victory by five wickets. The match ended in a thrill as Ireland put up a pressure scalping South Africa's mid wickets at single digit runs. Ireland set up the equation in the next inning to 22 in the last 12 balls. However, South Africa could not be restricted from winning the match with a boundary off the last ball.
In the first inning, Ireland scored 140 with fairly average contributions from its players. Opener Claire Shillington and Kim Garth, who was sixth down the line, made 30 each off 31 and 26 balls respectively. While, the top scorer was only a run ahead of them. Isobel Joyce smashed three fours and a six to bring 31 off 24 balls. The partnership stretches were quite even throughout the stretch. The batsmen were resolute until the half of the inning with the score of 61 for 1. The first wicket in the fifth over was of Gaby Lewis. She was bowled by Moselin Daniels.
South Africa's attack was on with Sune Luss taking two wickets in the eleventh over. Thus, Ireland slipped to 63 for 3 in the over. Adding to their woes, Opener Shillington was dismissed by Ayabonga Khaka in the next over. This was the slog from where the inning could never recover. In the last eight overs, Joyce and Garth partnered hauling the score to 140. It is the second highest score of the team in their T20 history. In the last six overs, Ireland minted 51, primarily aided by an aggressive Joyce.
South Africa chased Ireland with a pressure, as they could not maintain the required momentum while losing wickets. Opener Trisha Chetty was down in the third over, while the next wicket of Laura Wolvaardt, the opener and also the debutant, was in the eleventh. In the moment, the team was at 58 for 2. By the sixteenth over, they lost two more wickets while the score reached only 96. Meanwhile, Mignon du Preez was consistent with her strikes to bring 55 off 41 balls. She hammered six boundaries for her half century. South Africa neared the victory only when she delivered successive boundary knocks in the over before her dismissal.
When Du Preez was down in the eighteenth over, South Africa was at 113 for 5. The winning stretch was from Devnarain, without whom the match would have tilted completely in favor of Ireland. In the last three overs, the team required 33 to win. It was reduced to 22 in the last two overs and narrowed down to a thriller of 3 runs off the last ball. Although in the last over from Lucy O'Reilly South Africa lost a wicket, she remained futile against Devnarain, who plundered the winning boundary off her last ball. Thus, South Africa Women had the day winning the first match of the series.
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