The Proteas Women went from 115-5 to 115 all out, to lose to New Zealand Women by 12 runs in the first ODI.
Amy Satterthwaite claimed an outstanding 4-13 in a miserly nine-over spell, which included four maidens, as the tourists somehow managed to defend a modest 128 at the Diamond Oval.
Satterthwaite was well supported by Lea Tahuhu (3-41) and Erin Bermingham (2-17) as the South Africans were shot out in 42.2 overs.
It was a disappointing end to what was a promising first half of the match, the first of their key contests that will go some way towards deciding both teams’ qualification prospects in the ICC Women’s Championship, or 2017 World Cup qualification prospects. The hosts had won the toss at the start and their bowlers responded well by bowling the New Zealanders out in 40.1 overs.
No 3 Satterthwaite was the only one of the top-order batsmen to make a decent contribution thanks to her 19.
Ayabonga Khaka took 3-27 as the Kiwis slipped to 91-8.
Bermingham, though, managed to shepherd the tail with a key 33, as the visitors were all out for 127. Marizanne Kapp (2-13) and Moseline Daniels (2-29) were also amongst the wickets.
Laura Wolvaardt managed 33 at the top of the order, but no one managed to stay with her as South Africa slipped to 8-3.
Wolvaardt did manage to stay till 78-4, and even after she fell, captain and top-scorer Dane van Niekerk (37) took them to the brink before the late drama.
Match two, will take place on Tuesday.
Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images