2nd ODI, September 28
Skipper Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 124 gave South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, helping hosts chase down the 254-run target with seven wickets in hand. Opening the chase for South Africa, Wolvaardt lost two partners in quick succession before Sune Luus (53 off 57) joined hands to resurrect the innings from a precarious 43/2 in the eighth over. The pair put on 98 runs for the third wicket stand, before Luus fell soon after completing her half-century. Wolvaaardt then took the lead, and forged a 116-run unbroken stand with Marizanne Kapp (45* off 49) to help her side over the line without any further hiccups, in the 46th over.
New Zealand’s 253 was powered by Melie Kerr, who top-scored with an 88 and bailed the visitors from a similarly delicate position of 66/2 after Masabata Klaas got rid of both veterans Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine in her succeeding overs. Kerr missed out on a hundred herself, but put on a vital 92-run stand with Maddy Green (43 off 50) that gave the White Ferns something to play with. South Africa clawed their way back through a middle-overs collapse, triggered by Nonkululeko Mlaba’s triple strikes. New Zealand slipped from a rather comfortable 172/3 to 199/8. The lower-order resistance came from Hannah Rowe and LEa Tahuhu, who added 54 runs for the ninth wicket partnership. It did frustrate the hosts, taking their side past the 250 mark, but not quite enough for series parity.
Brief scores: New Zealand 253 all out in 49.5 overs (Melie Kerr 88, Maddy Green 43, Hannah Rowe 40; Nonkululeko Mlaba 3-41, Nadine de Klerk 3-44) lost to South Africa 257/3 in 45.2 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 124*, Sune Luus 53, Marizanne Kapp 45*; LEa Tahuhu 2-40 ) by 7 wickets
A fine all-round show from Nadine de Klerk (2-34 and 58*) and a typically aggressive knock from Chloe Tryon (71) helped South Africa to register a four-wicket win over New Zealand in the first match of the three-game ODI series in Potchefstroom on Sunday (September 24). The duo put on a 124-run stand which came after the hosts had been reeling at 111/5 at one stage in the run chase. With the scores level, Tryon went for the glory hit to be dismissed but the job had been done.
Earlier on, New Zealand had a similar recovery job in their innings after being 55/5 at one stage. The new ball did just a bit and South Africa’s seamers were on the money, notably Masabata Klaas, de Klerk and Marizanne Kapp. The tourists found themselves under the pump and it required a fabulous 127-run stand between Brooke Halliday and Hannah Rowe to resurrect the innings. With the surface easing out, the two gradually opened up in terms of strokeplay after a watchful start to the partnership.
Halliday in particular was severe on anything remotely loose while her partner played second fiddle with aplomb. Klaas returned to break the stand by cleaning up Rowe but Halliday batted deep into the innings and found another ideal foil in Isabelle Gaze who produced a cameo of her own. Jess Kerr then came to produce a few lusty blows at the back end to give the tourists a good finish to the innings. From 55/5 to 235 was a brilliant rearguard although the score was still under-par on a pitch that was getting better to bat on.
Kerr and Rowe carried their momentum into the bowling innings with fierce new-ball spells to put the Proteas under siege. Skipper Laura Wolvaardt chipped away at one end but her dismissal after getting to fifty put the home side in a hole of sorts. With a rather long tail to follow, the responsibility was massive on de Klerk and Kapp. The former, much like Kerr and Rowe, had her own momentum from the bowling innings, and it spread into her batting as well. She had been in good touch in the recent tour of Pakistan and the confidence showed.
It also helped that Tryon was at the other end striking the ball cleanly from the get-go. The aggressive batter, who was absent for the Pakistan series, looked in control throughout and her aggression allowed de Klerk to bat without the pressure of the asking rate. New Zealand tried different things but on an easing surface against two in-form batters, the White Ferns found it difficult to stop the run flow and before they knew it, the game was virtually over. The next game of the series will be held on Thursday (September 28) in Pietermaritzburg.
Brief scores: New Zealand 235/8 in 50 overs (Brooke Halliday 76, Hannah Rowe 52; Masabata Klaas 3-60) lost to South Africa 236/6 in 47.1 overs (Chloe Tryon 71, Nadine de Klerk 58*; Hannah Rowe 2-26) by four wickets