SYDNEY (Reuters) - 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 on Friday.
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.
“It was just one of those days where things paid off for me,” Lee said afterwards.
“We struggled in the powerplay and didn’t get as much as we wanted but Sune and I had a good partnership and that set us up.”
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).
For the Thais, who succumbed to their third successive defeat, only Onnicha Kamchomphu (26) and Chanida Sutthiruang (13) managed double digits.
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.
“I thought one of the spinners would get the award...happy to get another win on the board,” Knight said after collecting her second successive player-of-the-match award.
England face West Indies in a virtual quarter-final on Sunday.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Michael Perry and Toby Davis