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Monday, Feb 20th

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A stellar bowling performance by the Momentum Proteas laid the foundation for a comfortable, 36-run Duckworth-Lewis win over Ireland in their final match of the Super Six stage at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 in Colombo on Sunday. South Africa will face India in the tournament final on 21 February.

Lizelle Lee (2/12), Sune Luus (2/34) and Dane van Niekerk (2/45) all took two wickets apiece as the Irish were bowled out for 166 in 49.5 overs after winning the toss and batting.

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Andile Phehlukwayo continued to enhance his growing all-round reputation by providing crucial late support for AB de Villiers as the Standard Bank Proteas sealed a nail-biting, four-wicket win over New Zealand in their rain-affected, first One-Day International (ODI) of a five-match series in Hamilton on Sunday.

The youngster plundered two sixes and two fours in his 29 not out off 23 balls to take South Africa past their 208 victory-target with a delivery to spare in their 34-over-a-side affair at Seddon Park.

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Mark Wood will not join the England Lions for their one-day series against Sri Lanka A next month, reverting to the original plan of the Durham and England fast bowler making his return after ankle surgery in the North-South Series later in March.

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The five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand will be an opportunity for the Standard Bank Proteas to fine-tune their playing blueprint ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy in June. The Proteas have stacked up 11 consecutive ODI wins since September, and will be aiming to extend the record in the first match at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.

Proteas ODI captain, AB de Villiers, says although the squad isn’t looking too far ahead to the ICC showpiece, the series against a quality New Zealand side will be a key test for the squad in conditions similar to what can be expected in the UK.

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Imran Tahir returned career-best figures for South Africa in Twenty20 Internationals as they made a convincing start to their tour of New Zealand with a comprehensive, 78-run victory in their one-off clash in Auckland on Friday. The leg-spinner led a stellar bowling display by taking 5/24 – the third best figures ever for South Africa – as the hosts were bundled out for 107 in 14.5 overs. It was also the biggest-ever win in terms of runs over their opponents.

The groundwork for the result was done by seam duo of Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris, the pair picking up the other five wickets between them.

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South Africa have beaten hosts, Sri Lanka by a comprehensive nine wickets to qualify for the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup to be held in the United Kingdom in June and July this year. South Africa and India are the first to qualify and will join Australia, England, New Zealand and West Indies in women’s cricket’s biggest stage.

Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt each hit unbeaten 50s to claim victory for their side after the bowlers restricted the opposition, who elected to bat first, to 142/9 at P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Friday.

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South African leg-spinner, Imran Tahir, hopes his rise to the top of the ICC ODI bowling rankings will spur on more leading performances in the upcoming limited-overs series against New Zealand, which starts with the one-off T20I in Auckland on Friday. Tahir holds the No.1 bowling spot in both T20 and ODI cricket, and recently topped the ODI charts following his performances in the 5-0 series win against Sri Lanka where he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker with 10 wickets.

He has developed into an x-factor player for the Proteas in the short format of the game, with captains, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, acknowledging the value he adds in the respective formats. The 37-year-old, who has played 69 ODI’s and 30 T20I’s in his six-year career, continues to get better with age and hard work.

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