Andrie Steyn’s innings of 117 laid the platform for an emphatic 120-run victory over Ireland Women on Friday.
Steyn opened the Proteas innings with a new partner in Sune Luus. The makeshift opening pair proved an inspired decision by the Proteas coaching staff as Steyn and Luus added 209 for the first wicket.
For Steyn it was a continuation of the fine form she showed in the previous match against India, where she struck a magnificent 83 off 114 to play a significant role in her side’s eventual eight-run victory.
Against the Irish Women she went a step further and reached the three-figure mark off only 63 balls. Though she lost Luus for a terrific 83 off 102 balls (six fours, one six) she continued on before being trapped lbw to Laura Boylan for 117 off 123 balls (16 fours) in the 38th over.
Trisha Chetty (33) and Chloe Tryon (28) also made valuable contributions in the latter stages of the innings. Ireland will, however, come to rue a day of ill-discipline with the ball as the 28 extras they conceded helped the Proteas post 323-8 in their 50 overs, their second-highest score in the competition, after 337 against the same opposition earlier in the quadrangular series.
In reply, the Ireland chase got off to a good start as Mary Waldron (41) and Leah Paul (17) led Ireland past the 50-run mark before Ayabonga Khaka sent Waldron on her way, out lbw. Khaka then removed her partner, Paul, in the same fashion in her next over to leave Ireland on 68-2.
Though a 40-run partnership followed, a run-out by Mignon du Preez and a third scalp for Khaka left the visitors reeling on 115-4 after 28 overs, their challenge all but over.
Some tight-bowling and two more wickets allowed the Proteas Women to restrict the Ireland women to 203-6 after fifty overs. Khaka was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 3-15 in five overs.
The result means the Proteas have booked their spot in the final of the quadrangualar series on Sunday.