Wolvaardt's Century Leads South Africa to Record Chase in Kimberley

Wolvaardt’s Century Leads South Africa to Record Chase in Kimberley

South Africa’s women’s cricket team secured an unassailable 1-0 lead in their three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka after a dominant seven-wicket victory in Kimberley. Laura Wolvaardt’s third century as captain, and sixth overall, propelled the Proteas to the highest successful chase in a women’s ODI at the venue.

Wolvaardt’s 110* and Marizanne Kapp’s 80* formed the backbone of South Africa’s chase, as they shared a 143-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The Sri Lankan bowlers struggled to contain the duo on a pitch with low bounce, allowing the Proteas to reach their target with 14 balls to spare.

Earlier, Sri Lanka posted a competitive 229 thanks to Chamari Athapaththu’s 51. However, South Africa’s bowlers, led by Ayabonga Khaka (3-28) and Nadine de Klerk (3-23), kept the visitors in check.

The victory not only gives South Africa a series lead but also solidifies their position in second place in the ICC Women’s Championship standings. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, remain outside the automatic qualification zone for the 2025 World Cup.

Wolvaardt’s century was a significant milestone, making her South Africa’s leading run-scorer in ODI cricket. The Proteas captain has now amassed 2,753 runs in 94 matches, surpassing Lizelle Lee’s previous record.

The match was also marked by a lightning delay, with the players taken off the field for a brief period due to approaching thunderstorms. However, the chase resumed shortly after, and Wolvaardt guided South Africa to victory.

Sophie Molineux Returns with a Bang as Australia Dominates Bangladesh

Sophie Molineux Returns with a Bang as Australia Dominates Bangladesh

Australia’s all-rounder Sophie Molineux made a triumphant return to ODI cricket, leading her team to a six-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second match of the three-game series. Molineux, who had been sidelined for over a year due to injuries, claimed impressive figures of 3 for 10 from 10 overs, helping to restrict Bangladesh to a meager total of 97.

Bangladesh’s innings was characterized by a lack of resistance, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Molineux played a pivotal role in their downfall, claiming the wickets of opener Shamima Sultana, captain Nigar Sultana, and all-rounder Fahima Khatun. The Australian bowlers, including Megan Schutt, Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham, and Alana King, collectively overwhelmed the Bangladesh batters, with only No. 9 Nahida Akter managing to reach double figures.

In response, Australia’s batters chased down the target with relative ease, despite losing three early wickets. Ellyse Perry top-scored with an unbeaten 35 from 50 balls, anchoring the innings and guiding her team to victory. Phoebe Litchfield and Tahlia McGrath both fell cheaply, but Perry combined with Gardner to steer Australia to a comfortable win.

Molineux’s performance was particularly impressive, as she demonstrated her versatility and ability to contribute in both bowling and batting. Her return to the Australian set-up is a significant boost for the team, as they prepare for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Australia’s victory gives them a 2-0 lead in the series, with the third and final ODI scheduled for Wednesday. The series will be followed by three T20Is, providing both teams with valuable preparation for the global tournament.

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