The best efforts of Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp fell agonisingly short as the Proteas Women tied the fourth ODI against Australia.
The two put on 144 in 30 overs for the fifth wicket, when Kapp was run out for 66 off 104 balls, and Van Niekerk continued to play a captain’s innings of 81, coming off 97 balls with eight fours. When she was bowled by Jess Jonassen, South Africa were 16 runs shy, with three overs remaining.
The tail, marshalled by Dinesha Devnarain (13 off 12), tried valiantly to maintain the momentum and a four from Masabata Klaas tied the scores at 242 with one ball to go. Proteas hearts were broken by a sharp run-out off the last ball as she drove straight to silly-mid-on. It was just the fifth tie in the history of women’s ODIs.
Kapp and Van Niekerk had built on a shaky foundation of 40-4 as the Proteas Women attempted to chase down 242 to win. It was a target restricted by a spirited bowling fightback in which the South Africans took five wickets for 19 runs.
The Australians had a rollercoaster ride to that score, for after a good start of 41, they lost wickets in patches as Sune Luus tore into them. Nevertheless, they were looking set at at 223-5 after 46 overs, a total due in large measure to Nicole Bolton (63) and Ellyse Perry (69), both of whom fell eventually to Luus.
The leg-break bowler ended with 4-37 off eight overs, supported by the similarly styled Van Niekerk, who picked up two wickets in two balls and ended with 3-52.
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