White Ferns cruises past South Africa

Opting to field first, medium-pacer Sophie Devine (three for 16) and offie Leigh Kasperek (three for 19) helped the White Ferns bowl South Africa out for a meagre 99.

New Zealand's Erin Bermingham, right, celebrates with team captain Suzie Bates the dismissal of South Africa's Marizanne Kapp during their ICC Women's Twenty20 2016 Cricket World Cup match in Bengaluru.   -  AP

New Zealand underlined its status as title-favourite with a facile seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the ICC Women's World T20 here on Saturday. New Zealand — the side has now won all four of its group stage matches — has sealed a semi-final berth. South Africa, on the other hand, exited the tournament after a second loss in three outings.

Opting to field first, medium-pacer Sophie Devine (three for 16) and offie Leigh Kasperek (three for 19) helped the White Ferns bowl South Africa out for a meagre 99. The catching was outstanding with wicket-keeper Rachel Priest taking the best of the lot with a low, diving one-handed effort to dismiss Sune Luus.

The chase was smooth, guided by a 57-run opening stand between Suzie Bates (29, 25b) and Rachel (28, 28b). After Suzie and Rachel departed, the hard-hitting Sophie (27 n.o., 17b) arrived to carry her team through.

Brief score:

South Africa 99 in 19.3 overs (Marizanne Kapp 22, Sophie Devine three for 16, Leigh Kasperek three for 19, Erin Bermingham two for 14) lost to New Zealand 100 for three in 14.3 overs (Suzie Bates 29, Rachel Priest 28, Sophie Devine 27 n.o.).