It was the bowlers who shone in the first Twenty20 (T20) match between Zimbabwe and the South Africa women's emerging squad when the two sides met at the Harare Country Club on Monday. South Africa continued their winning ways when they defeated their hosts by a whopping 125 runs after restricting them to a scant 29 runs.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, posting a competitive 154 in their allotted overs. Liezelle Lee was the standout performer with the bat, top scoring with 70 from 50 balls while Alexis le Breton chipped in with a striking 49 from 46 balls.
The bowlers picked up where the batters left off. Marcia Letsoalo, Ayabonga Khaka and Maryka Kirchoff took outstanding figures of 2/3, 2/6 and 2/10 respectively.
"The coach told us to bowl slower balls and add more yorkers to the mix to heighten the frustration of the batters and it has worked," Letsoalo said. "Changing the intensity from the ODI series to the T20s has not been as difficult as we had anticipated and the youngsters are holding up extremely well."
Lee is delighted with her form and admits that she has learned a lot while on this tour. "I have learned a lot about myself a player and I have also learned new techniques and have been able to judge my performances more objectively. There's been a huge improvement in my game," she commented. "The change from ODI to T20 was more of a mental shift and I have tried not to repeat my mistakes and I can feel myself getting better each time I play."
The second and final T20 takes place tomorrow (Tuesday 28 May) at 13:30 at the same ground.