The Momentum Proteas Women drew first blood when they beat Bangladesh Women by six wickets in the first of three One-Day International (ODI) matches at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday. Three wickets for leg-spinner Sunette Loubser and a half-century for debutant, Lizelle Lee, helped set up a convincing victory for the Proteas Women.
Lee scored 77 to steer the Proteas Women to the target of 150 in the 38th over. The 21-year-old opener from Ermelo set up a well-structured innings for the low run chase, which included seven boundaries. Lee and Trisha Chetty (39) started the chase off with a solid 80-run opening stand, with Lee batting until the final over to guarantee the win.
“I’m really proud of the way Lizelle batted today,” captain, Mignon du Preez said. “It was quite difficult batting upfront and she and Trisha set us up for the target with a good opening partnership. She structured her innings really well and adapted with ease to the conditions. The rest of the batters in the order also chipped in.”
Earlier, South Africa restricted Bangladesh to 149 for eight in 50 overs after winning the toss and electing to field. Loubser was the star with the ball taking three for 28 in 10 overs on a slow pre-season wicket. Her late burst of wickets towards the end of the innings curbed Bangladesh’s momentum, after they looked set to reach a total in excess of 200. It was another all-round performance from the bowlers, who chipped in with wickets regularly throughout the innings.
Bangladesh’s innings was built around opener, Fargana Hoque, who top-scored with 63 against consistent bowling. Her departure in the 37th over started the slump for the visitors, who only managed to add 32 runs in the last 13 overs.
Player of the match, Lee, was delighted with her performance and hopes to take it through to the next match. The second ODI takes place at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.