Kerr’s Century Dampens Proteas Women’s Clean Sweep Hopes

Amelia Kerr’s unbeaten hundred led New Zealand to a consolation six-wicket win in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) Black Day ODI against the Proteas Women, as the hosts secured a 2-1 series victory in Durban on Sunday.

Kerr scored an undefeated 100* off 117 balls, dispatching 13 fours to the boundary, in the White Ferns’ triumphant chase of South Africa’s first innings total worth 209 all out, which included a valiant knock of 72 off 73 balls (7 fours) from all-rounder Marizanne Kapp.

Under cloudy conditions, South Africa lost the toss and was asked to bat first before the heavens opened at the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, delaying the commencement of the match by an hour and five minutes to see the game reduced to 48 overs a side.

Once the contest got underway, Tazmin Brits (12) was the first wicket to fall, caught and bowled, off the bowling of Hannah Rowe (1/42) prior to a further rain stoppage leading to the players going off the park and another reduction of overs to 45 per innings.

Play resumed in the seventh over as the Proteas Women reached the end of the powerplay on 36/1 in challenging batting conditions, before Anneke Bosch (7), Suné Luus (5) and Laura Wolvaardt (24) were dismissed in relatively quick succession to leave the home side 67/4 in the 18th over.

Facing an uphill battle to post a competitive total, experienced duo Kapp and Chloé Tryon (25) – who appeared in her 100th ODI in front of a hometown crowd – assessed the conditions well and adapted accordingly with an important 58-run stand for the fifth wicket to get South Africa into triple figures.

Despite Tryon and Nadine de Klerk (9) falling victim to Fran Jonas (1/26) and Sophie Devine (3/33) respectively, Kapp found an able partner in Sinalo Jafta (18) as the 33-year-old reached her 12th half-century before eventually being sent back to the changeroom, along with Jafta, to see South Africa 188/8 in the 43rd over.

An injection of energy was then provided by action-packed cameos from the lower-order pair of Nonkululeko Mlaba (9) and Masabata Klaas (10) as South Africa reached 209 all out at the end of their allotted overs.

In reply, New Zealand made a solid start through an opening partnership between Kerr and Suzie Bates (9), who reached a personal milestone with her 300th international game for the Aotearoa side, with the pair combining for 42 runs before Bates fell to Klaas (1/51) in the penultimate over of the powerplay.

Although Kerr lost her fellow opener, the 22-year-old matched up well with skipper Devine (30) for a 64-run stand for the second wicket to take New Zealand to 106/1 before Mlaba (2/41) broke the stand with a jaffer of a delivery in the 21st over.

Following the removal of Devine, the Proteas had their tails up in the field, which led to the dismissals of new batters Maddy Green (0) and Georgia Plimmer (6) through the efforts of a stumping by Jafta off the bowling of Tryon (1/33) and a second wicket from Mlaba, with New Zealand on 127/4.

With the game nearing a tense finish, Kerr rose to the occasion alongside all-rounder Brooke Halliday (37*) as the duet held their nerve to see the visitors over the line in the second-to-last over to take the win, with Kerr raising her bat for a hard-fought century with the winning runs of the encounter.

Wolvaardt was named the Player of the Series following her 198 runs at an average of 99 in a winning campaign as captain.

In spite of the final ODI defeat, the Proteas Women’s 2-1 series win helped Hilton Moreeng’s charges to second place on the ICC Women’s Championship (2022-25) qualification table, with seven victories out of nine, en route to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025 in India.

Proteas Women Squad – South Africa Inbound Tour vs New Zealand 2023/24:

Anneke Bosch (Fidelity Titans), Tazmin Brits (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Mieke de Ridder* (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Sinalo Jafta (DP World Lions), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (DP World Lions), Masabata Klaas (Fidelity Titans), Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tumi Sekhukhune (DP World Lions), Nondumiso Shangase (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Chloé Tryon (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Fidelity Titans)

Fixtures – South Africa Inbound Tour vs New Zealand 2023/24

T20I Series:

Friday, 06 October 2023 @ 18h00 SAST – 1st T20I – South Africa vs New Zealand (Buffalo Park, East London)

Sunday, 08 October 2023 @ 14h00 SAST – 2nd T20I – South Africa vs New Zealand (Buffalo Park, East London)

Tuesday, 10 October 2023 @ 18h00 SAST  – 3rd T20I – South Africa vs New Zealand (Buffalo Park, East London)

Saturday, 14 October 2023 @ 14h00 – 4th T20I – South Africa vs New Zealand (Willowmoore Park, Benoni)

Sunday, 15 October 2023 @ 14h00 – 5th T20I – South Africa vs New Zealand (Willowmoore Park, Benoni)

photo: Amelia Kerr of New Zealand, player of the match during the ICC Women’s Championship, 3rd ODI match between South Africa and New Zealand (CSA Gallo)

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