The Proteas Women have gone 4-1 down in the seven-match series to the White Ferns, after losing by 95 runs at Boland Park on Wednesday.
It’s sure to be a tough pill to swallow for the South African women, who would have hoped to have put up more of a fight in this series, especially after such a convincing display in the second ODI, which at the time gave them a chance of automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup.
It was a scorcher of a day at Boland Park with the hosts hoping to turn things around in the series at 3-1, and it was indeed the travelling White Ferns who felt the heat early on in the day.
Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka pegged New Zealand to 10-3 off eight overs, as Kapp bowled four consecutive maidens to open her spell, the fourth of which saw her claim the wicket of skipper Suzie Bates for one.
The damage was repaired by Natalie Dodd and the ever-impressive Amy Satterthwaite, who put on 84 runs to bring their side back to respectability. Dodd scored a maiden ODI fifty (52) before perishing, while Satterthwaite was unfortunate to be run out at the non-striker’s end for 42.
Handy contributions in the lower-middle order from Katie Perkins (34) and Sam Curtis (42) got NZ past 200, with Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk putting in a decent spell of 2-34 from her allotted overs.
The 209 required for victory was a far from a daunting one given that three of the four matches going into this had been won chasing similar targets, but the hosts made it difficult for themselves with Lizelle Lee and Andrie Steyn falling to the nippy Lea Tahuhu.
Mignon du Preez looked in excellent touch but the rest of her teammates failed to hang around. Dinesh Devnarain (0) and Van Niekerk (1) fell in quick succession, after Marizanne Kapp had been struck on the head, forcing her off for the rest of the match.
With the Proteas effectively on 28-5, a massive uphill battle awaited them, but Sune Luus (27) did provide a willing partner to Van Niekerk as the pair crept along to a 55-run stand.
Luis’ wicket was the straw that broke the camel’s back however as another collapse followed. Du Preez continued to go about her work efficiently and raised her bat for a ninth career ODI fifty.
With Kapp unable to continue and an injury to Lara Goodall preventing her from coming out to bat either, Du Preez’s wicket (62) was the last to fall, as the Proteas fell short by 95 runs.
With only two matches left, both of which are set to take place at Boland Park again due to the dangers surrounding the student protests at Stellenbosch, some serious regrouping is needed if they want to get anything more out of this series. A tough series against Australia awaits, and they will not want to go into that having lost 6-1 to weaker opposition.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images