Sune Luus scored a fifty and bagged six wickets as the Proteas Women drew first blood in the ODI series against Ireland.
After struggling to a surprise drawn series against the Irish in the T20 series, a big response was needed to get the Proteas going in the four-match ODI series.
With the tourists at one stage on 106-5 it looked like another shock could be on the cards, but a sensational lower-order batting display handed them a comprehensive victory in the end.
A fifty-run stand between 17-year-old Laura Wolvaardt and Trisha Chetty got the visitors going, but it was youngster Woolvardt contributing the majority of the runs as Chetty fell for 10. Ex-skipper Mignon du Preez only lasted five deliveries as she fell for a duck – Kim Garth, daughter of former first-class player from Johannesburg Jonathan Garth – did the damage for Ireland.
Two more quick wickets fell as Ireland had the Proteas on the ropes, but Luus and Chloe Tryon turned the match on its head with a remarkable 142-run stand. Luus (52) and Tryon (92) both produced career-best scores. Tryon’s 92 came off 68 balls, smacking seven fours and six sixes. That eventually lifted them to 283-7.
Ireland were clearly rattled by the total that they suddenly had to chase down. Masabata Klaas took the first wicket, but when Luus was introduced in the 11th over it all fell apart for Ireland, as the leg-breaker proceeded to take four wickets in her first four overs, leaving Ireland reeling on 117-7.
Garth backed up her bowling display with an excellent 72 off 80 balls, but she fought a lone battle thanks to two more wickets for Luus (6-36) as the Irish were skittled for 194, handing the South Africans an 89-run victory.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images