Bowlers help South Africa annihilate Ireland in ODI series opener

Suné Luus (L) and Shabnim Ismail (R) © Getty Images

South Africa vanquished Ireland in the first of the three-match ODI series by nine wickets to start their ICC Women’s Championship Cycle with a bang on Saturday (June 11), at the Castle Avenue in Dublin.

Ireland’s skipper Gaby Lewis won the toss and elected to bat first but her decision went horribly wrong. South African bowlers ran amok from the outset and destroyed the Irish top-order. Lewis was the first one to depart as Shabnim Ismail grabbed a good catch in her follow-through to get rid of her.

Lewis’s dismissal triggered a batting collapse that saw the entire Irish team fall like ninepins. The pair of Shauna Kavanagh and Sophie MacMohan tried to weather the storm but couldn’t last long as Raisibe Ntozakhe broke their 21-run stand in the 18th over.

Right-arm medium pacer Gerogina Dempsey played a few exciting strokes lower down the order to help the hosts get past the fifty-run mark. Dempsey scored three boundaries and was looking to biff the ball as and when presented with an opportunity. But she ran out of partners at the other end and remained unbeaten on 19* off 20 deliveries. 

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Ireland eventually got bowled out for just 69 in 27.2 overs as the Proteas’ bowling attack proved to be too good for them. Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka attacked with the new ball and the Irish batting order just had no answers.

Skipper Suné Luus, who has been questioned quite often for under bowling herself wasted no time in introducing herself into the attack. She brought herself in the 15th over, gave no freebies to the Irish batters, and continued to increase the pressure.

She picked up three wickets during her spell, including that of MacMohan’s, who was batting well and looked set to take Ireland out of trouble. Luus finished with three for 16 in her seven overs alongside Ismail, who also bagged a three-fer and ended with identical figures (three for 16 in six overs, including two maidens).

Chasing a paltry 70 to win in 50 overs, the visitors lost their premier batter, Laura Wolvaardt with just 15 runs on the board. Dempsey continued to impress in the field for Ireland as she bagged Wolvaardt’s wicket by getting her nicked off. 

But the pair of Andrie Steyn and Lara Goodall didn’t let the Irish bowlers rejoice any further as they stitched a 55-run stand to take South Africa home in just 16 overs.

Brief scores:

Ireland 69 all out  in 27.2 overs (Georgina Dempsey 19*; Suné Luus 3/16, Shabnim Ismail 3/16) lost to South Africa 70/1 in 16 overs (Lara Goodall 32*; Georgina Dempsey 1/20) by nine wickets POTM: Shabnim Ismail