Ireland Women lost their third game at the World Twenty20 when they suffered a comprehensive 67 run loss to South Africa.

Ireland had fought back well in the South African innings after openers Trisha Chetty (35) and Dane van Niekerk (20) had given their team a brisk start with a 41-run stand in 29 balls.

The Irish bowlers gained some control and the pressure paid off as South Africa went from 70 for 1 to 84 for 4 with just over six overs left.

"I think we competed well in the first 15 overs with both bat and ball, but after that South Africa turned the screws" - Isobel Joyce

Pembroke seamer Kim Garth (2-26) and Hills leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe (1-15) did the damage, as Ireland looked on course to restrict their opponents to around the 120 mark.

However, the wheels came off as an unbeaten 30 off 24 balls by Lizelle Lee, aided by hard hitting cameos from Dinesha Devnarain (24) and Chloe Tryon (20* from seven balls), saw 72 runs come from the last 38 deliveries - 30 of which came in the final nine.

The South Africans hit a total of 17 fours in their innings and also cleared the ropes three times in a total of 156 for 5, which was always likely to prove difficult for a fragile Irish batting line-up and so it proved. 

A poor power-play phase saw just 20 runs scored, with Cecelia Joyce and Cath Dalton both falling cheaply.

Clare Shillington (34 from 28 balls) and skipper Isobel Joyce (22 from 23) added 44 for the third wicket, but by this stage the required rate was well into double figures, and the by now customary middle order collapse wasn't far away.

From 64 for 2 in the 12th over, the Irish stumbled to 89 for 9, at one stage losing seven wickets for just 21 runs. 

The destroyer-in-chief was 20-year-old leg-spinner Sune Luus who returned the competiton's best figures to date - 5 for 8 as she bamboozled a succession of Irish batters.

Irish skipper Isobel Joyce said South Africa were deserving winners.

"I think we competed well in the first 15 overs with both bat and ball, but after that South Africa turned the screws," she said. "We lost by a bigger margin than we should have."

Ireland have the opportunity to claim a consolation win when they play their final group game on Saturday against defending champions Australia.