South Africa congratulate their New Zealand counterparts following their match in Somerset on Wednesday. Photo: @WHITE_FERNS via Twitter

SOMERSET – There were world records aplenty as South Africa went down by 66-runs to an inspired New Zealand in the opening match of the women’s Tri-Series in Somerset on Wednesday.

The White Ferns amassed the highest total in women’s 20-over cricket at this level when they posted 216/1. Despite a valiant effort by the South Africans, they could only manage 150/6 in reply as they slipped to defeat in the opening game of the series.

It was all about the New Zealanders though, in the opening game as they began the competition with a bang.

New Zealand were led by captain Suzie Bates as she posted her highest score and maiden T20I century by striking an unbeaten 124 (66 balls, 16 fours, 3 sixes). It was the joint-second highest score in women’s 20-over international cricket.

And if that was not enough, the skipper added another world record to her name when she shared a partnership of 182 with Sophie Devine, the leading stand in the history of women’s T20Is.

It was also Devine’s career-best score as she managed 73 (48 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes), which allowed her team to post a monumental total after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first.

Marizanne Kapp was the only successful SA bowler with 1/32.

The South Africans made a decent start by reaching 30/1 in the fourth over, but a cluster of wickets then saw them lose their way.

Hayley Jensen claimed 3/28 as they lost three wickets with the score on 40, including that of star opener Laura Wolvaardt for 25.

Top scorer and captain Dané van Niekerk hit 58 (57 balls, 9 fours, 1 six) and at one stage had rescued the Proteas by taking them to 119/4 following a record-breaking fifth-wicket stand of 79 with Mignon du Preez (36).

However, it was never going to be enough as they fell to defeat.

South Africa will have to dig deep as they gear up to face England at 5.40pm local time. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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