South Africa Women : 225/7 (48 overs)
Dane van Niekerk 102 (117), Andrie Steyn 75 (100) Oshadi Ranasinghe 40-3 (9)
SL 218/9 (48 overs)
Shashikala Siriwardene 49 (56), Prasadani Weerakkody 47 (67) Masabata Klaas 46-3 (7), Dane van Niekerk 26-2 (10)
By 7 runs
Sri Lanka somehow contrived to lose a match they should have won comfortably handing South Africa a 7-run victory in the first ODI at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. Dane van Niekerk starred with both bat and ball in the victory.
Sri Lanka inserted the hosts in to bat on winning the toss. Due to rain the match was reduced to 48 overs per side.
South Africa suffered early setbacks with the dismissals of Laura Wolvaardt (0 runs from 1 ball) and Lara Goodall (12 runs from 24 balls). Both were sent back by Udeshika Prabodhani.
Thus, South Africa were off to a slow start with only 29 runs at the end of the Powerplay. But a 117-run partnership between Andrie Steyn and her captain Dane van Niekerk brought South Africa back on track.
It was finally broken when Steyn was trapped lbw by Inoka Ranaweera for 75 runs from 10 balls. Meanwhile, van Niekerk continued her superhuman form achieving also her highest ODI score of 102 runs from 117 balls.
At the other end Mignon du Preez edged to cover off Oshadi Ranasinghe to fall for 12 runs from 22 balls. Ranasinghe would go on to claim two more wickets, one of them being the prized wicket of the South African skipper. Wicketkeeper Faye Tunnicliffe was clean bowled two balls later for a duck.
Marizanne Kapp was dismissed in the final over by Achini Kulasuriya for 13 runs from 17 balls. South Africa finished on 225-7 losing 3 wickets on the score of 222.
Sri Lanka began very strongly. Masabata Klaas came in for some stick during the Powerplay giving away 22 runs in 2 overs. By the end of the tenth over, Sri Lanka were in a great position at 56-0.
In the very next over, van Niekerk, who brought herself on, made the first breakthrough trapping Anushka Sanjeewani for 19 runs from 31 balls. She then cleaned up her opposite number Chamari Atapattu for 15 runs from 27 balls.
In the next 7 overs, only 16 runs were scored with van Niekerk and Kapp applying the pressure. Klaas reaped the benefit when she found Prasadani Weerakkody’s edge. Weerakkody fell just three runs short of her half century.
Klaas bagged her second wicket when she had Harshitha Madavi caught for 16 runs from 36 balls. The required run rate kept climbing. Shashikala Siriwardene tried to keep up with the run rate scoring 49 runs from 56 balls. However, at the other end Nilakshi de Silva struggled, at one point scoring 9 runs from 20 balls.
Siriwardene eventually fell to become Klaas’s third victim. By the end of the 43rd over, Sri Lanka needed 31 runs from 30 balls with 4 wickets in hand – still a manageable task. But in the next over, a rare hit-wicket for Ranasinghe (6 from 9), and a run-out for Prabodhani (0 from 3) meant Sri Lanka had effectively landed the hammer on their feet.
A second run-out saw Kulasuriya become Sri Lanka’s ninth wicket to fall. 12 runs were needed from the last over. But Sri Lanka could score only 4 falling short by 8 runs – a damp end to the chase.
Dane van Niekerk was the Player of the Match for her all-round performance.