Devine role in NZ's big victory

Cuttack: Sophie Devine celebrated her return to the limited-overs format with a quickfire century as last edition's runners-up New Zealand thrashed South Africa by 150 runs in their opening Group B match of the ICC Women's World Cup, here, at the DRIEMS Ground in Tangi, on Friday.

Devine, coming back after a gap of two-and-a-half years, struck her maiden hundred in the form of an aggressive 131-ball 145 to help New Zealand post 320 for five after being sent into bat.

Later, left-arm pacer Siam Ruck (four for 31), spinner Morna Nielsen (three for 34) and Lea Tahuhu (two for 27) starred with the ball to help the Black Caps bundle South Africa out for 170 runs with nine overs to spare.

Devine's innings featured 13 fours and six sixes, which helped to surpass her previous best score of 74 against Australia. The South African run chase never really got off as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Opener Savanna Cordes was dismissed on the third ball of the innings, trapped leg before by Tahuhu for nought.

The other opener Yolandi Potgieter departed in the sixth over, while Marizanne Kapp too did not last long as the Proteas were left wobbling at 43 for three. Captain Mignon du Preez (29) and Cri-zelda Brits (23) tried to resurrect the innings with their 24-run stand for the fourth wicket. But Nielsen struck twice in successive overs to dismiss both the batswomen. The left-arm spinner further compounded the misery when she had Chloe Tryon caught behind

With South Africa reeling at 82 for seven, Susan Benade (37) and Shabnim Ismail (31) combined well and stitched together a 71-run stand for the eighth wicket.

Brief scores

New Zealand 320/5 in 50 overs (S. Devine 145). South Africa 170 in 41 overs (S. Benade 37; Sian Ruck 4/31). New Zealand won by 150 runs.

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