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Sune Luus

Luus shines as South Africa take ODI series 3-0

NZ v SA, 3rd ODI, report

Sune Luus' incredible six-wicket haul helped South Africa defeat New Zealand by six wickets in the third women's one-day international in Hamilton and take the series 3-0.

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Luus' returned figures of 6/45 in her 10-over spell as New Zealand were bowled out for a paltry 149. She is now the only bowler in women's cricket to register two six-wicket hauls in ODIs. 

The series victory was a huge one for the visitors, who broke a host of records. This is not only their first series win in New Zealand but they have also whitewashed the White Ferns for the first time in ODIs. 

Earlier, South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk won the toss, and put the hosts in to bat. New Zealand got off to a slow start and the Proteas bowlers maintained the pressure, strangling the scoring rate with wickets at regular intervals.

Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine briefly resuscitated New Zealand with a half-century stand for the third wicket but after van Niekerk dismissed Devine for 24 in the 18th over, the White Ferns slipped again. Bates completed her 27th ODI fifty but failed to carry on the momentum. Her wicket in the 25th over was a big blow as the hosts were left stuttering at 106/5.

Luus then tightened the screws with a terrific display of bowling and ripped through the lower middle order. She accounted for the wickets of Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Katey Martin and Leigh Kasperek after those of Katie Perkins and Bates.

Apart from Bates, Devine and Martin, none of the other batters crossed 22. Marizanne Kapp (1/5), Shabnim Ismail (1/15) and van Niekerk (1/33) were the other bowlers among wickets for the visitors. 

With a modest target to chase, South Africa openers Lizelle Lee (20) and Laura Wolvaardt (26) began confidently putting up 40 runs for the first-wicket in seven overs. The Kerr sisters, Devine and Kasperek picked up one wicket each but a low total meant that South Africa scaled it with 12.4 overs to spare.

Van Niekerk contributed with a 40-ball 30 while Mignon du Preez (35*) hit the winning runs. She was aided by Kapp, who scored an unbeaten 16.

South Africa have now climbed up to the third spot in the ICC Women's Championship table with 22 points from 18 matches.

The focus will now shift to the T20 leg of the tour. The first game of the five-match series will take place on Sunday, 2 February in Tauranga.

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