South Africa 139-3 (Chetty 53) beat
Sri Lanka 136 (van Niekerk 3-25) by 7 wickets
First One-Day International, Potchefstroom
South Africa’s Women made it a good day for their nation’s cricketers by thrashing Sri Lanka Women in the opening One-Day International at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
While Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers were plundering the Pakistani bowlers many miles away in Dubai, Dane van Niekerk was leading the Proteas bowling effort in dismissing Sri Lanka for just 136.
They then overcame the early loss of Lizelle Lee to the third ball of their run chase to ease to their target in the 38th over. Trisha Chetty and captain Mignon du Preez added 70 in 19 overs for the second-wicket to break the back of the chase, with Marizanne Kapp then joining Chetty after du Preez had fallen to Shashikala Siriwardne for 35.
Kapp (44 not out) and Chetty added a further 59 for the third-wicket, with the latter departing shortly before they reached the winning line when she was run-out by Udeshika Pradbodhani for 53.
Pradbodhani was arguably the pick of the seven Sri Lankan bowlers deployed, with figures of one for 18 when the winning runs were struck off her seventh over. However, most of her colleagues bowled tidily, with Sripali Weerakkody, Chamani Seneviratna, Shashikala Siriwardene and Chandima Gunaratne all conceding four runs per over or fewer.
The Proteas had earlier bowled as a team to set the match up for their side. Shabnim Ismail dismissed both Sri Lankan openers, Lasanthi Madushani (9) and Yasoda Mendis (18), with just 30 on the board and things never really improved in spite of a promising third-wicket partnership.
Chamari Atapattu and wicket-keeper Dilani Manodara shared 42 in 61 balls, with Manodara contributing only four of them before she became the first wicket to fall in a steady collapse that didn’t cease until the innings was over.
The tourists were not helped by two of their batters being forced to retire hurt, although both Eshani Kaushalya and Chandima Gunaratne did return later to resume their innings. Van Niekerk followed up the wicket of Manodara by having top-scorer Atapattu caught behind for 36.
Sunette Loubser (2-31) and Marcia Letsoalo (2-17) then helped themselves to a brace of wickets apiece as the end of the Sri Lankan innings came in a hurry.
The two sides will meet again on Saturday for the second ODI, with a three-match T20 series then following the finale on Monday. All matches will be played at Senwes Park.
© Cricket World 2013