An unbeaten 98-run stand between half-centurion Tazmin Brits and opener Laura Wolvaardt helped the Momentum Proteas confirm an emphatic 10-wicket triumph over the West Indies in their third Women’s T20 International Tri-Series at the Buffalo Park Stadium on Wednesday.
Brits, the Player of the Match, blasted seven fours and one six on her way to an undefeated 50 off 43 deliveries, alongside a composed Wolvaardt (42*), as South Africa made light work of the Windies’ first innings total of 97 / 6 after Tumi Sekhukhune (2 / 24) starred with the ball to restrict the visitors.
The West Indies were successful at the toss and elected to bat, with the Proteas Women exerting early pressure on the opening batters, Rashada Williams (1) and Britney Cooper, before the former became the first one to fall to Nonkululeko Mlaba (1 / 7) in the second over.
New batter, Shemaine Campbelle (1) didn’t last much longer either, as a stunning run out from Chloé Tryon, who had a single stump to aim at, helped stun the visiting nation to leave them reeling to just 6 / 2 at the end of the powerplay.
The Caribbean side’s rebuild job was further curtailed by a loss of two more wickets. Shenata Grimmond (5) and Cooper (10 were the next to head back to the changeroom, with Sekhukhune striking a double blow as the Windies crawled to 29 / 4 in the 11th over.
A hugely important partnership between captain Hayley Matthews (34) and Shabika Gajnabi (33) played a pivotal role in turning the tide around for the West Indies, with the duo putting on 61 runs for the for the fifth wicket to help take the away side into the 90s before Gajnabi fell in the final over.
Matthews contributed with a few lusty blows but was eventually run out for 34 off 26 deliveries as the West Indies finished three runs short of triple figures on 97 / 6 at the end of their allotted 20 overs.
In their chase, South Africa’s opening batters took the game by the scruff of the neck as they navigated their way through the early stages of the innings before Brits and Wolvaardt stepped on the accelerator to take the game to their opponents.
The pair brought up their 50-run stand in the seventh over before Brits launched her attack enroute to a fifth career T20I fifty as South Africa wrapped up the contest within 13.4 overs to set up a tantalizing double header against India, which will also include the Tri-Series final on 02 February.
Today’s win also marked a special occasion for the evergreen seamer, Masabata Klaas, who notched up her 50th cap in the short format, while newcomer Annerie Dercksen made her eagerly awaited debut for South Africa.