The victories of openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt helped South Africa to beat hosts New Zealand in the first one-day international match in Auckland on Saturday, January 25th.
Visitors chased the 260-run goal with nine balls to take the 1-0 lead in the three-game series. Lee and Wolvaardt shared a massive opening with 163 runs in 31.2 overs to create a solid foundation. Lee was the aggressor in the partnership, who scored 13 foursomes during her run-a-ball stay before being narrowly released on her third ton in format.
Sune Luus, the new batsman, scored a quick 15 but was released within three overs after Lee’s departure. Despite the two quick gates, Wolvaardt maintained its solidity and further anchored the persecution. She was supported by captain Dane van Niekerk, who scored a 37 ball and shared a 64 run stand for the third wicket.
At the time, van Niekerk was 47th ahead of Holly Huddleston, South Africa only needed 16 runs to win, and they could easily reach the goal.
Wolvaardt remained undefeated on 91 and Mignon du Preez (8 *) scored the winning streak. New Zealand used up to seven bowlers, but only Huddleston, Suzie Bates, and Hayley Jensen each got a wicket.
Earlier in the day, South Africa won the throw and used it to beat in New Zealand. The hosts had a slow start and lost their openings within 15 overs with only 51 on the board. Suzie Bates (53) and Katie Perkins (78) fought admirably to push them over 250, but losing gates periodically over the past 10 overs didn’t help, as they ended up ending at 259/9 of 50 overs.
Ayabonga Khaka had a brilliant final and only gave five runs while collecting two gates, including that of the well-placed Perkins for 78.
Khaka and Masabata Klaas were the favorites of South African bowlers, each with three scalp muscles. Shabnim Ismail opened two gates while birthday boy Chloe Tyron picked up Captain Sophie Devine’s lonely wicket.
The second ODI will be played on Monday, January 27th at the same location.