The final Twenty20 International of the five-match series was a cracker, at the end of which South Africa came out on top to level the series 2-2 with a three-wicket win over the Windies.
Hayley Matthews scored a 52-ball 70 to help the Windies post 155/5 after being asked to bat at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trindad on Saturday, 6 October.
However, Lizelle Lee’s 24-ball 42 at the top and crucial contributions from the middle order helped see off the home side with one ball remaining in a superb series finale.
It initially seemed as though the chase would be a straightforward one, with Lee and Laura Wolvaardt (23 off 14) putting on 37 for the opening wicket.
Even after the stand was broken – Wolvaardt was caught behind off Matthews – Lee and Robyn Searle found support in each other, and they added 30 runs for the second wicket.
At 67/1, South Africa seemed on course to get to the finish line in good time, but a breakthrough for the Windies opened the flood gates – within the 11th over, the visitors were reduced to 84/4, with all of Lee, Sune Luus (0) and Searle (14) being dismissed in quick succession.
The look on your face when you can’t believe you’ve just scored the winning runs for your country! Take a bow Saarah Smith! Congratulations to the #ProteasWomen on their 3-wicket victory to draw the series. #AlwaysRising pic.twitter.com/T56Daq8UYF— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 7, 2018
Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon then got together to steady things, adding 31 runs for the fifth wicket. Du Preez was dismissed in the 15th over by Anisa Mohammed, having scored a steady 21-ball 25, but Tryon then took on Mohammed, hammering consecutive sixes in her next over.
However, there was another wobble late in the script. With four runs to get in the penultimate over, Tryon holed out off Deandra Dottin. In the next over, Marizanne Kapp, who had scored a 17-ball 18, was dismissed as well with the scores tied.
#WIvSA END OF SERIES: South Africa come back from 2-0 down to level the Sandals International Home Series at 2-2. We are all set for the closing ceremony now #ItsOurGame #WindiesCricket 🏏 pic.twitter.com/nCCUUDq4oP— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) October 7, 2018
Saarah Smith then sneaked a single off the penultimate delivery to seal the win.
Earlier, the Windies batters began the day in confident mood. Matthews played her shots and took on the aggressors’ mantle from one end, meaning Natasha McLean could dig in and keep one end steady.
The two added 42 runs for the opening wicket before McLean was bowled by Zintle Mali for a 33-ball 23. That triggered a slide – Stafanie Taylor managed just a 7-ball 10 before Dottin was sent back by Smith for nought.
Shemaine Campbelle offered Matthews some support, and the two added 57 runs for the fourth wicket, taking the total past the 100-run mark. Campbelle was sent back in the 16th over for a 17-ball 28, but Matthews kept going, and brought up her second T20I half-century.
Masabata Klaas eventually dismissed her with three deliveries left in the innings.
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!