S Africa crush Thailand to top group, England beat Pakistan
February 28 2020 11:52 PM
Lizelle Lee
South Africa’s Lizelle Lee plays a shot as Thailand’s wicketkeeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai looks on during the T20 women’s World Cup match in Canberra yesterday. (AFP)

Reuters /Sydney

South Africa crushed Thailand by a record margin to inch closer to the semi-finals of the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup, while England also remained on course by beating Pakistan in another Group B match yesterday. 
South Africa rode Lizelle Lee’s blistering century to post 195-3, the highest total in the history of the tournament, before crushing Thailand by a record 113 runs to go top of the group with their second victory in two matches.
Lee smashed 101 off 60 balls and added 131 runs with Sune Luus (61 not out) to power South Africa to an imposing total before they returned to skittle out Thailand for 82 with five balls to spare.
The Thais have now fallen to two of the biggest defeats, in terms of runs, in the tournament’s history including their 98-run thumping by England on Wednesday.
The Thais began well though, dismissing rival captain Dane van Niekirk early and restricting South Africa to 37-1 after the six powerplay overs. Lee then cut loose and Thailand’s inexperience showed.
The Asians dropped at least two catches, including one from Lee when the opener was on 45, misjudged a couple of skiers, could not stem the flow of sweep shots and fluffed a run-out opportunity.
Thailand used seven different bowlers inside nine overs to try and stop Lee who smacked three sixes and 16 boundaries to bring up her maiden Twenty20 100 before departing from the very next ball.
Thailand crumbled early in the chase, losing three wickets in three deliveries, including a run-out, in the eventful fourth over of their innings from Shabnim Ismail (3-8).
Beaten by South Africa in their opening match, England were clinical in their 42-run victory against Pakistan with skipper Heather Knight once again leading by example. Knight followed her century against Thailand with a belligerent 62 to help the 2009 champions to a strong 158-7.
Like in that match, Natalie Sciver shared the scoring responsibility with her captain smashing a breezy 36. Pakistan could not build significant partnerships and were all out for 116 in the final over despite Aliya Riaz’s defiant 41.
Quick Anya Shrubsole (3-25) and leg-spinner Sarah Glenn (3-15) shared six wickets between them.
England face West Indies in a virtual quarter-final tomorrow.

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