The Proteas Women lost their opening World Cup warm-up match to Australia by 103 runs on Tuesday, despite fifties from Dane van Niekerk and Trisha Chetty.
Seeking their first-ever win over Australia after 12 prior defeats and a tie, the Proteas won the toss and asked the Southern Stars to bat first. Australia made a steady start to their innings, reaching 35-0 after nine overs.
Ayabonga Khaka provided the breakthrough for South Africa when she bowled Beth Mooney for 24. She and Masabata Klaas both struck shortly thereafter to leave Australia on 40-3.
Ellyse Perry (67) and Elyse Villani (137) repaired the damage and then began to assert their dominance over the Proteas. The pair occupied the crease for nearly 26 overs during which time they added 167. They led Australia past 200 before the partnership was broken after Nadine de Klerk effected a run out to dismiss Perry.
Villani continued to bat well, reaching three-figures while adding 63 runs in seven overs with Alex Blackwell. Villani’s innings finally ended when Marizanne Kapp bowled her for 137. Blackwell (32) and Alyssa Healy (25) powered Australia to a strong finish by hitting the last 21 balls for 54 to post 324-5.
The Proteas’ reply started horrendously after Lizelle Lee was run-out without facing a ball. Andrie Steyn (12) and Trisha Chetty (67) righted the ship and steered the Proteas to 37 before Steyn fell in the eighth over to Jess Jonassen.
Untimely wickets became the theme for SA. Chloe Tryon (26) and Chetty guided the side past fifty and looked set to reach three-figures too before Tryon was dismissed with the score on 95. Kapp came and went for just one before Dane van Niekerk and Chetty added 38. Chetty had to go, however, when Megan Schutt dismissed her for 62.
Van Niekerk fought a lone battle after that. She reached her fifth ODI fifty off 61 balls. After her dismissal at the start of the 47th over, however, the Proteas’ challenge all but ended and they were bowled out for 221 in the final over.
The Proteas Women wrap up preparations for the World Cup with a warm-up clash against West Indies on Thursday.