South Africa Women 107 for 2 (Goodall 52, Bosch 32*) beat Ireland Women 106 for 7 (Lewis 31, Sekhukhune 2-17, de Klerk 2-26) by eight wickets

A much-improved South Africa levelled the T20I series against Ireland with a dominant performance in the second match. After struggling to find their lengths on a slower surface on Friday, South Africa’s attack adjusted well and proved difficult for the home batters to get away. Ireland were restricted to 106 for 7, with only one partnership – the second-wicket stand between Gaby Lewis and Mary Waldron – putting on more than 20 runs. Wickets were shared among the six bowlers – and captain Sune Luus did not even need to bring herself on – none of whom conceded more than 6.5 runs to the over.
South Africa also almost did not need their biggest-name batter. Laura Wolvaardt, who was down to bat at No.4, left the dressing room when South Africa needed only six runs to win after the top three did the bulk of the work. Tazmin Brits was dismissed in the third over but a 72-run stand between Lara Goodall and Anneke Bosch ensured South Africa could coast to victory with five overs to spare.
Mlaba makes up for expensive first over
South Africa seem intent on using left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba to bowl the first over in T20Is. She went for eight runs in the first match and nine in this one, but managed to pull things back to concede only 15 runs in her next three overs and finish with 1 for 24. Mlaba was more difficult to put away immediately after the Powerplay and reaped the rewards of South Africa’s squeeze when, after 18 balls without a boundary, Lewis attempted to hit her over long-off but only got as far as Shabnim Ismail, who took a comfortable catch. Lewis, the star of the opening game, was dismissed for 31.

Brakes on the boundaries
Ireland struck a healthy 18 fours in the first T20I but a much more disciplined South African bowling effort and a better display in the field kept them to just eight in this innings. Gaby Lewis struck two fours in the first over, off Mlaba, one off Tumi Sekhukhune, and also hit Ireland’s only six, while Leah Paul punished Nadine de Klerk in the Powerplay, but that was as aggressive as Ireland got. There were no boundaries from the 7th to the 11th over and again from the 13th to the 18th.

South Africa start strong
Goodall was dismissed for a duck in the series-opener – which was only the second time she had opened in T20Is – so things couldn’t go any worse in this game, but they ended up infinitely better. Celeste Raack opened the bowling for Ireland and overstepped with her third delivery, giving Goodall a free hit that she mowed down the ground for six. She followed up with a four and took 12 runs off the opening over to give South Africa as good a start as they could have asked for.

Goodall’s best
Goodall went on to record her highest T20I score of 52 and her first fifty in the format; it was only her second score of over 30 in a T20I innings. Her career is just 15 matches old and with Mignon du Preez not considered for this series, she has a key role to play in South Africa’s future plans. Goodall was aggressive, especially against the spinners, and proactive in her strike-rotation. She brought up fifty with a swivel-pull off a Jane Maguire short ball off the 38th ball she faced. She was dismissed in the same over, foxed by a slower delivery, but the job was done.