Johannesburg — Deandra Dottin’s third One-day International century, propelled the West Indies to a dominant position until rain arrived to curtail the West Indies innings in the first ODi with South Africa here on Friday.
As a result, South Africa’s chase was reduced to 29 overs in which they will have to score 209 to win.
The 30 year old Dottin,had built her innings intelligently, initially seeing off the threat of pacer, Shabnim Ismail, while playing South African skipper Sune Luus carefully, as she became just the second West Indies female batter, to make 150 in an ODI. Dottin was not out on that figure when rain, which had been threatening for much of the afternoon, started pouring at 5.30pm.
South Africa had grabbed the initiative early after Luus chose to bowl upon winning the toss. Ismail kept the West Indies openers quiet and picked up the wicket of Rashada Williams, lbw for one in the fifth over.
Kycia Knight faced 19 balls and made just a single before she was well caught behind by Proteas wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta off Ayabonga Khaka.
That brought West indies captain Stafanie Taylor to the crease and in combination with Dottin, she gradually changed the impetus of the West Indies innings. The pair had added 33 runs for the third wicket when a Dottin straight drive, smashed Taylor’s right arm, creating a noticeable bump. The West Indies skipper left the field in agony, and most likely will have to undergo X-rays to determine the extent of the damage , with her World Cup chances certainly in jeopardy.
While Taylor suffered that misfortune, Dottin, got back to work and struck the ball sweetly, taking advantage of some poor bowling from the hosts. South Africa with the notable exceptions of Luus and Ismail, got their lines completely wrong, offering up a number of leg-side freebies, while also gifting the tourists extra runs and balls through 12 wides.
Dottin, who got good support from Hayley Matthews, struck some massive blows; one six off Masabata Klaas sailed 10 rows back into the Memorial Stand, and a slog sweep off Nonkululeko Mlaba would have disappeared into the Taverners Stand had it not struck a railing and bounced back into the field of play.
With Luus trying to save Ismail’s last few overs for the ‘death,’ she needed Khaka, Klaas, Chloe Tryon and Mlaba to find the right lines and lengths, but that quartet was far too inconsistent. In attempting to shut off Dottin’s preference for hitting to the leg-side, they bowleed wide outside off-stump, but Dotting was by then feeling far to good about herself for that ploy to work, and drove powerfully to the cover region.
Matthews, who also timed the ball beautifully was happy to just turn the strike over to her teammate and together the duo shared a stand of 153 runs for the third wicket, with Matthews making 51 off only 63 balls, before being caught at long-on by Tryon off Klaas.
Dottin, had sailed passed 100 for the third time in her career, and moments before the rain — which had earlier interrupted play for half an hour — returned thrashed Klaas to the extra cover boundary to bring up 150, only the second West Indies batter to reach that mark, after Taylor. She faced 158 balls, hitting 18 fours and four sixes.
South Africa’s bowling lacked discipline, with Ismail (1/24) and Luus (0/29) the best of the lot. The fielding, had started out well, but quickly slipped into lethargy, illustrated by Klaas dropping a simple chance offered by Dottin when she had 110. She’d also been dropped earlier by Jafta when on 86, but that was a much harder chance for the Proteas wicketkeeper.