The Zimbabwe women’s cricket team clinched their maiden series win against South Africa’s Emerging Squad after winning the fourth Unofficial Twenty20 encounter at Groenkloof in Pretoria on Friday to take an unassailable 3-1 series lead in the five-match series.
Skipper Mary-Anne Musonda top scored for the Zimbabwe Women with a 40-ball 50 as they reached 158 for seven in their allotted 20 overs before allrounders Josephine Nkomo and Kelis Ndhlovu both claimed two wickets apiece to restrict South Africa Emerging Squad to 138 for seven.
The win meant Zimbabwe clinched the five-match series with Saturday’s final match of the series to spare. This was the Lady Chevrons’ first series win against the South Africans which underlines the huge strides the team has made over the last few months.
More importantly, this will be a huge morale booster for the team ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier which will take place from September 18-25 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Buoyed by their strong performances in the opening three matches, the Lady Chevrons elected to bat first after winning the toss on a good batting track.
A first-wicket partnership standoff 68 runs between openers Ndhlovu (41) and Sharne Mayers (33) laid the foundation but Zimbabwe almost undid all their good work after losing their next five wickets for just 30 runs to slump to 98 for six after 12 overs.
However, the skipper Musonda came to the team’s rescue after scoring a fluent unbeaten knock of 50 runs which included six fours.
Spinner Miane Smit was the pick of the South Africa Emerging Squad bowlers with three wickets for 23 runs in her four overs.
After impressing with the bat, 16-year-old Ndhlovu, who is establishing herself as a consistent allrounder claimed two wickets for 24 runs with her off spin while Nkomo also chipped in with two wickets while conceding just 27 runs to guide their team to a series win.
Smit top scored for the hosts with 45 runs as they came short in their chase.
Zimbabwe is using the series as preparation for their T20 World Cup Qualifiers in the UAE.
After the tour of South Africa, the Lady Chevrons will travel to UAE for a quadrangular series against Thailand, United States of America and the hosts which will be their final preparations.
#4thT20 | RESULT
Zimbabwe Women 157-7 in 20 overs
(Mary-Anne Musonda 48*, Kelis Ndhlovu 41 ; Sharne Mayers 33: Smith 3-23, Shangase 2-22)
— Zimbabwe Cricket – Women (@zimbabwewomen) September 2, 2022