Johannesburg — Half centuries from skipper Sune Luus and opener Laura Wolvaardt saw the Proteas post a stiff target for Ireland in the final One-Day International in Clontarf, Dublin on Friday.
Luus, getting her first opportunity to bat in two weeks, made a fluent 93 while Wolvaardt, who struggled with her timing early on, scored 89, with the pair sharing a 177-run partnership for the third wicket.
The South African captain joked after the T20 series that she told the top order they needed to take responsibility for scoring the bulk of the runs, but was regretting doing so following four consecutive nine wicket wins.
On Friday, she finally got a bat, and showed that that part of her game was in excellent working order, with an aggressive innings featuring some powerful shotmaking with her sweeping against the Irish spinners particularly eye-catching.
Having chased successfully in the first two matches of the series, Luus chose to bat after winning the toss, with South Africa making one change to the side that wrapped up the series on Wednesday, with Tumi Sekhukhune replacing Nadine de Klerk.
Andrie Steyn, who made 84 not out on Wednesday, was dismissed in the seventh over, after taking a risky single to Sophie MacMahon at mid-off. The Irish fielder, collected cleanly and delivered an accurate throw with Steyn half a metre short of her ground, after she’d scored 14.
Wolvaardt hasn’t had much to do with the bat on the tour, with Steyn and in particular Lara Goodall, showing outstanding form. Perhaps as result of that limited time at the crease, she struggled with her fluency, but most importantly she stuck through it, despite her own frustration after she’d scored just nine runs off the first 38 balls she faced and registered her 27th ODI half-century.
It was her sixth score of 50 or more this year, a reminder that in addition to her rich talent, she’s also one of the most consistent batters in the game.
Goodall was dismissed for the first time in the series, when she was stumped by Mary Waldron off the bowling of Rachael Delaney for 18, which brought Luus to the crease.
She was the aggressor for most of the third wicket stand with Wolvaardt, and her 13th half century, was another show of her consistency after what was a good World Cup earlier this year.
Neither were able to reach the three figure mark with Wolvaardt chipping Jane Maguire to Arlene Kelly at mid-off in 45th over, after hitting six fours in her innings in which she faced 128 balls.
Luus fell three overs later, with a thick outside edge finding Delaney at short third, for a career best innings, that included 11 fours off only 104 balls.
South Africa 278/5