South Africa cruised to a crushing 189-run win over Ireland in the final ODI of the tour on Friday. After Laura Wolvaardt (89) and Sune Luus (93) starred with the bat to take the visitors to 278/5, pacer Shabnim Ismail picked 5/8 to bowl out the hosts for just 89, thereby taking the ODI series 3-0.
Sune won the toss and chose to bat first, but it was Ireland who began brightly, limiting the visitors to 16 runs inside the first five overs before the breakthrough arrived in the sixth: Andrie Steyn was run out after an excellent direct hit from Sophie MacMahon caught the batter short trying to get to the non-strik’r’s end.
That brought the in-form Lara Goodall to the crease, but the left-hander perished for 18 looking to play the big shot; she advanced down the ground to Rachel Delaney but failed to connect and Mary Waldron did the rest behind the stumps.
At 57/2 in 14 overs, South Africa weren’t in trouble, but neither were they in the most comfortable spot. But Laura rebuilt the innings; the former advanced to her half-century off 79 balls, while the latter brought up the same landmark from 70 balls. Together their partnership was worth 177, the fifth-highest for South Africa in women’s ODIs.
Jane Maguire provided a much-needed wicket in the 45th over, with Laura departing 11 runs short of what would have been her fourth ODI century. Chloe Tryon came in to hit some quick runs and managed 17 off 12 before hitting Arlene Kelly to mid-off on her 13th delivery. Arlene then denied Sune a century as she finished with figures of 2/40 from her 10 overs.
Ireland’s chase got off to a perilous start as Shabnim — who had taken six wickets across the previous two ODIs — had both Gaby Lewis and Rachel Delany caught behind for ducks in her opening over. Her scintillating new-ball spell then accounted for Leah Paul in the fifth over, and Shauna Kavanagh was bowled for a 10-ball duck in the seventh over to leave Ireland reeling on 8/4.
Shabnim looked set to complete her five-wicket haul in the Powerplay when MacMahon edged to second slip in the ninth over — but the catch went down. Nonetheless, Raisibe Ntozakhe accounted for MacMahon not long after leaving Ireland on 13/5.
From there Mary Waldron and Arlene stitched a stand of 57 for the sixth wicket. But Sune had Mary trapped lbw for 32. Wickets continued to tumble as Ireland fell from 70/5 to 89 all out, with Ismail fittingly taking the final wicket to finish with incredible figures of 5/8 from 8.5 overs, including four maidens.
(Inputs from IANS)