Johannesburg — Shabnim Ismail claimed her 300th international wicket as part of a devastating opening burst that blew away the Irish top order setting up another dominant victory for the Proteas.
The South Africans will head to England on Saturday, high on confidence after overwhelming a young Irish side and earning crucial points at the start of the International Women’s Championship, that will determine the automatic qualifiers for the 2025 World Cup.
Ismail picked up two wickets in her first, another in her second and her fourth in her third overs, before returning in the 33rd over and clean bowling Cara Murray for nought, to claim the second five-for of her illustrious career. Ismail, finished with figures of 5 /8 in 8.5 overs which saw her claim 11 wickets in the three match series.
Her dismissal of Irish captain Gaby Lewis, with a lovely outswinger, which Lewis edged to Trisha Chetty, gave her the landmark 300th international wicket. She followed that two balls later with an in-ducker that clipped top of the left-handed Leah Paul’s off-stump.
There was little resistance from the Irish, with Sune Luus adding two wickets to her career-best effort with the bat earlier in the day, when she made 93, Delmari Tucker, playing in her third match, claimed her first international wicket when she had Jane Maguire stumped by Chetty.
Earlier, half centuries from skipper Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt saw the Proteas post a stiff target. 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, in an aggressive innings featuring some powerful shotmaking with her sweeping against the Irish spinners particularly eye-catching.
Wolvaardt hasn’t had much to do with the bat on the tour, with Andrie 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.
Luus 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 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
SA won by 189 runs
SA win series 3-0