Opening batter Lizelle Lee continued her fine run of form with an unbeaten 91 to help South Africa cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket win with more than 10 overs to spare against West Indies in the opening women’s ODI in Coolidge.
Chasing 154 for victory, Lee and Laura Wolvaardt (36 off 65 balls) put on an 88-run opening partnership to put South Africa on course. Even though West Indies picked up two wickets in the space of nine balls, Lee and captain Dane van Niekerk (17* off 40 balls) managed the rest of the chase expertly with an unbeaten 68-run stand for the third wicket. Lee hit 10 fours and a six en route to her 91, which marked her 21st ODI half-century. She had come into the ODIs on the back of a strong T20I series in which she scored 114 runs in three matches.
A disciplined bowling performance from the outset from South Africa’s bowlers set the tone for the match. South Africa picked up two wickets in the first 10 overs and conceded just 12 runs before Deandra Dottin and Britney Cooper salvaged the innings with a 58-run partnership.
After Dottin was dismissed for a quickfire 38, off 36 balls, West Indies were unable to put together substantial partnerships. Wicketkeeper Kycia Knight top-scored for the hosts with a patient 39. Three bowlers – Ayabonga Khaka, van Niekerk and Tumi Sekhukhune – picked up two wickets apiece to help bowl West Indies out for 153 in the 47th over.
“It was really hot today and a little bit difficult and you had to dig deep,” Dottin said after the match. “We didn’t play our best today with our batting. I just think that the top order, at least one should have batted through, we were short of partnerships as well. We need to go back to the drawing board and come up with ways to score 200 which I know we have the ability to do.” (ESPNcricinfo)