Injury-hit West Indies Women lose to South Africa

SUMMARY: South Africa 299-8 (Wolvaardt 117, Luus 56, Connell 4-54) beat West Indies 203 (Knight 69, Ismail 4-37) by 96 runs


West Indies lost Chedean Nation and Stafanie Taylor to on-field injuries during the third ODI against South Africa, who won the fixture by 96 runs. The four-match series is level at 1-1, with one game to play.

Nation was stretchered off the field in the 40th over of the South African innings after tumbling while trying to stop a Mignon du Preez boundary.

She was at midwicket as du Preez swiped, Nation ran in, slipped and fell head over heels. She was unmoved as the ball crossed the boundary and required 12 minutes of on-field treatment before being taken off.

Earlier, in the 36th over, Nation had jammed her shoulder into the ground as she attempted to stop the ball and though she appeared to recover quite quickly, it may have been the initial blow which forced her off the field. She was taken to hospital “out of an abundance of caution”, according to the West Indies media manager.

A little more than 90 minutes later, Taylor copped a blow to the helmet off a Nadine de Klerk bouncer. That was at the end of the 13th over and by the first ball of the 14th, Taylor, at the non-striker’s end, stood hunched over with her hands on her knees, shaking her head.

She faced another delivery, took a single and then decided she could not continue. She received on-field assistance but walked off the field, pointing to her neck. Taylor was found to be concussed, and eventually replaced for the remainder of the game by Aaliyah Alleyne.

South Africa posted their highest total against West Indies in a bid to level the series. Laura Wolvaardt scored her third ODI century and first against a top-eight rated team and shared in a 141-run third-wicket stand with Sune Luus to set South Africa up for their highest total against West Indies.

“I felt like I wasn’t getting great starts,” Wolvaardt told the television broadcast after her innings. Her previous three knocks have not progressed past 25. “We focused on building a partnership that took up a lot of time and faced a lot of overs. It’s very nice to see what we can do if we actually do what we are supposed to and get it right.”

Luus contributed 56 but the innings’ impetus came from Chloe Tyron, who smashed a 24-ball 43 to put South Africa in touching distance of 300. With South Africa scoring at a shade under six an over, Shakera Selman’s return of 0 for 39 in 10 was the most miserly of the bowling. Shamilia Connell, who conceded only 54 runs in her 10, finished with four wickets.

The South Africa innings ended a ball short due to an umpiring error, which denied them the opportunity to bring up only their third total over 300. Still, it was too much for West Indies who started the innings without Nation and lost soon Taylor. By then, the series’ leading wicket-taker, Ayabonga Khaka, had removed both openers in her first two overs, making use of swing through the air on a humid Johannesburg evening.

Kycia Knight‘s 69 kept West Indies in the hunt but she holed out to long-on to become off-spinner Raisibe Ntozakhe’s first victim since making her ODI comeback in this match. Ntozakhe was cleared to bowl again in September last year after being reported for a suspect action in September 2018. She finished with 1-53.

Shabnim Ismail took two wickets in two balls to leave West Indies 170-7 in the 37th over. Alleyne batted to the end but was left with too much to do. With Nation unable to bat, South Africa only needed nine wickets and took them before West Indies had faced their full quota of overs.

The series finale will be played on Sunday at the same venue, the Wanderers. South Africa will wear an all-black kit to show their support for victims of gender-based violence and West Indies will black armbands for the same cause. (ESPNcricinfo)

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