England defeated South Africa in a high-scoring run feast while Sri Lanka escaped to a narrow two-run win against Ireland on an entertaining first day of warm-up matches for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023.
In Stellenbosch the two teams combined to rack up 475 runs as England edged to a 17-run success on Monday. Elsewhere, Sri Lanka hung on for a two-run win over Ireland, while defending champions Australia got the better of India by 43 runs thanks to a fine bowling display.
New Zealand kicked off with a 32-run win over the West Indies, and Pakistan were the only successful chaser in a six-wicket success against Bangladesh, the ICC informed in a release on Monday.
Top order shines for England
After being put in, England made a blistering start to their innings against South Africa, with Sophia Dunkley smashing 59 off just 19 deliveries including nine fours and three sixes.
She fell in the fifth over, with 68 on the board, but opening partner Danni Wyatt (24) and then Alice Capsey (61) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (51) put England in a strong position at 207 for four with four overs remaining.
They kept up the pace as the wickets fell, with useful late runs from Maia Bouchier (19 not out from seven balls) to reach 246 for seven. That left South Africa a mammoth target to chase, with early wickets for Charlie Dean and Sarah Glenn leaving them with a lot to do when they found themselves 51 for three.
Chloe Tryon then blasted 65 off just 23 balls including seven sixes to get the chase back on track, but her dismissal was the first of three for just two runs that stalled the chase once again. Nadine de Klerk kept battling, with a 27-ball 50, but South Africa left themselves too much to do.
Sri Lanka sneak home
Sri Lanka needed two wickets in the final over to deny Ireland victory in the closest game of the day. Batting first, the Sri Lankans made 149 for five, opener Harshitha Samarawickrama making 56 before retiring hurt.
Vishmi Gunarathne chipped in with 36 but Laura Delany (3/20) kept the batters in check as Ireland gave themselves a manageable target to chase. Gaby Lewis (38) provided early runs in reply, but Ireland kept losing wickets as Oshadi Ranasinghe (3/22) and Inoka Ranaweera (3/26) chipped away.
Arlene Nora Kelly finally settled things down, with a 17-ball 30 that took Ireland to the brink, needing three from four balls with two wickets in hand. However, Sugandika Kumari removed Cara Murray before Kelly was run out off the penultimate delivery as Sri Lanka clinched it.
Scores in brief
New Zealand 123/5 in 20 overs (Maddy Green 47, Suzie Bates 30; Hayley Matthews 1/6, Chinelle Henry 1/21) beat West Indies 91/7 in 20 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 26, Chinelle Henry 23; Amelia Kerr 3/20, Suzie Bates 1/6) by 32 run
Sri Lanka 149/5 in 20 overs (Harshitha Samarawickrama 56, Vishmi Gunarathne 36; Laura Delany 3/20, Eimear Richardson 1/26) beat Ireland 147 all out in 19.5 overs (Gaby Lewis 38, Arlene Nora Kelly 30; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3/22, Inoka Ranaweera 3/26) by two runs
England 246/7 in 20 overs (Alice Capsey 61, Sophia Dunkley 59; Nadine de Klerk 3/45, Shabnim Ismail 2/38) beat South Africa 229/9 in 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 65, Nadine de Klerk 50 not out; Sarah Glenn 3/30, Lauren Bell 3/31) by 17 runs
Bangladesh 101/8 in 20 overs (Shamima Sultana 36, Sobhana Mostary 23; Nida Dar 2/12, Nashra Sundhu 2/19) lost to Pakistan 105/4 in 16 overs (Nida Dar 24 not out, Bismah Maroof 24; Rumana Ahmed 2/6, Marufa Akter 2/27) by six wickets.