South Africa kept their hopes of squaring the five-match Twenty20 International series against the Windies alive after an eight-wicket win in the fourth fixture.
Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt form one of the best opening pairs in the current game, and they showed why with a match-winning 89-run stand at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba on Friday, 5 October.
Their bowlers, led by Tumi Sekhukhune, did exceedingly well to set up a 136-run chase, and Lee and Wolvaardt took charge after that.
Lee dominated the opening stand with 54 from 38 balls, with five fours and three sixes, but was dismissed in the 12th over with South Africa still 47 runs adrift. Sune Luus then joined Wolvaardt and, with the asking rate well in control, the two chipped away at the target.
Luus, having scored 19 from 16 balls with a four and six, fell with South Africa two runs from victory, but Wolvaardt, who had already got past her maiden T20I half-century by then, stayed put as Chloe Tryon completed the win. For Lee, it was her sixth half-century in T20Is.
Earlier, the Windies – 2-0 up after three games and in no danger of losing the series – were asked to bat by Tryon, the stand-in captain, and were given a good start by Hayley Matthews and Natasha McLean.
Matthews was the early aggressor, scoring 15 in 12 balls in a first-wicket stand of 22, but became Sekhukhune’s first victim of the day when she sent a catch to Marizanne Kapp in the fourth over.
McLean, in excellent touch with 38 and 42* in the last two games, put on another good show, and Stafanie Taylor, the Windies captain, gave the opener good support in their partnership of 73 runs.
Taylor, however, fell in the 16th over after scoring a 31-ball 26 – Sekhukhune getting her second to end with 2/27 – but with McLean scoring her first T20I half-century and Deandra Dottin coming in and scoring quickly, the Windies looked good.
Dottin was run out after a quick 15-ball 28, while McLean finished with 57* in 61 balls, scored with the help of five fours and two sixes.
In the end, though, the 135/3 the Windies put up proved well short, with South Africa rushing past the target with eight balls in hand.
The final game of the series will be played on Sunday, 7 October, at the same venue.
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