New Zealand set new batting record; score 216 for 1 against South Africa to register highest score in Women’s T20I

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates top-scored with 124 not out off 66 balls, and with Sophie Devine (73) put on a record 182 for the first wicket in the opening match of a triangular series also featuring host nation England.

London: New Zealand carried on from where they left off in Ireland by breaking the record for the highest score in a Women’s T20I with a total of 216 for one on the way to beating South Africa in Taunton on Wednesday.

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates top-scored with 124 not out off 66 balls, and with Sophie Devine (73) put on a record 182 for the first wicket in the opening match of a triangular series also featuring host nation England.

New Zealand’s total surpassed Australia’s 209 for four against England in Mumbai in March. And it came barely a week after the White Ferns posted a colossal 490 for four — the highest total in any one-day international, women’s or men’s, against Ireland in Dublin — an innings that featured Amelia Kerr’s individual record 232 not out.

Bates’s innings on Wednesday saw her go past former England captain Charlotte Edwards as the leading run-scorer in women’s T20s. “That was one of the best wickets I’ve played on, it’s the best I’ve batted for a while,” Bates told the BBC.

“Sophie can hit the ball a long way and she’s added a lot at the top of the order.

South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk admitted: “I think we went to Plan Z. There were a couple of run-out chances we didn’t take, but the class of Suzie and Sophie, they’ll make you pay.”

South Africa never came close to chasing down their imposing target, finishing on 150 for six. But they did not have long to dwell on their defeat, with only two hours’ break before they faced England in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Taunton, the headquarters of southwest county Somerset.

Bates, 30, hit 16 fours and three sixes but fell just two runs short of equalling the individual women’s T20 record of 126 made by Australia’s Meg Lanning against Ireland in 2014.