Cape Town - A career-best effort by Dané van Niekerk was not enough as the Momentum Proteas fell to a heavy nine-wicket loss to New Zealand in the third One-Day International (ODI) at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Thursday.
The South Africa captain made an unbeaten 78 (104 balls, 7 fours) to help her team post 188/9 after winning the toss and batting first.
White Ferns captain, Suzie Bates hit 82 (88 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) and Amy Satterthwaite made 89 (97 balls, 12 fours) to guide their side to an easy win with 101 balls to spare.
The pair shared a monumental 174-run, second-wicket stand after Ayabonga Khaka (1/31) took the only wicket to fall – that of Rachel Priest (10) with the score on 16. It was one-way traffic thereafter, as the visitors took a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series, and more importantly took two valuable points from the result, which put them three points clear of the hosts on the ICC Women’s Championship table.
Only the first three matches of the tour counted towards the qualifying tournament for next year’s World Cup, with fifth-placed South Africa now having plenty to do in order to seal automatic qualification for the global showpiece.
The New Zealanders, who jumped to third with the result, were on top for most of the game.
They had the home side 12/2 early in the day after the dismissals of Andrie Steyn and Mignon du Preez (1) cheaply – both dismissed by Morna Nielsen (2/36).
Lizelle Lee made 36, before falling with the score on 55. Lara Goodall (9) followed on the same score, both removed by the outstanding Holly Huddleston (5/25). Marizanne Kapp (32) shared an innings-high, fifth-wicket stand of 56, but she too succumbed to the medium-pace of Huddleston.
From 111/5, van Niekerk struggled to find much support as the South Africans managed to set 189, but Satterthwaite and Bates were brutal as they took their side to a comfortable win.