Wolvaardt shines as Momentum Proteas cruise past India in opening ODI

A record partnership between Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt helped the Momentum Proteas make a storming start to their five-match One-Day International series against India with a stunning eight-wicket demolition at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.

The pair amassed 169 for the first wicket as South Africa chased down a 178-run target with eight wickets intact – securing their biggest win over the hosts in the process.

Lee finished with an unbeaten 83 off 122 balls (11 fours, 1 six), while Wolvaardt, who went past 2000 ODI runs during the early part of her innings, was dismissed with nine runs to win for a splendid 80 off 110 balls (12 fours).

It mattered little, though, as Hilton Moreeng’s charges eventually won with 59 deliveries to spare.

The stand for the first wicket was the highest by the tourists for any wicket against India and also beat the previous best of 163 of a top-tier nation that was scored by the same two players against New Zealand at Auckland last January.

The bowlers too played their role for the South Africans with Shabnim Ismail’s three for 28, which included three maidens, leading the charge in helping them restrict their opponents to just 177 for nine.

The Proteas, also outstanding in the field, won the toss at the start of the match and opted to bowl first, with their star fast bowler and Marizanne Kapp (1/25) exceptional with the new ball.

Together with Ayabonga Khaka (1/29), they left the Indians on 40 for three by the 14th over, before captain Mithali Raj (50 off 85 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and Harmanpreet Kaur (40) helped rebuild.

Sune Luus (1/23) eventually broke the stand just after the 100 was raised, before Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/41) joined the act with tidy bowling during the middle overs.

That meant India could manage to set just 178.

Lee and Wolvaardt then made light work of the chase as they recorded 19th and 18th ODI half centuries respectively for their country in 50-over cricket.

The partnership was eventually ended by Jhulan Goswami (2/38), but Lee was on hand to finished the job ant take the visitors to a 1-0 lead.

The Momentum Proteas squad: Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunniclife, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune.

Support Staff: Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Dillon du Preez (Assistant Coach), Sedibu Mohlaba (Team Manager), Tshegofatso Gaetsewe (Team Doctor), Abram Ramoadi (Performance Analyst), Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist), Zane Webster (Strength and Conditioning), Koketso Gaofetoge (Media Manager).

Full Tour Schedule:

7 March – 1st ODI – India Women lost to the Momentum Proteas by 8 wickets

9 March – 2nd ODI – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

12 March – 3rd ODI – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

14 March – 4th ODI – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

17 March – 5th ODI – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

20 March – 1st T20I – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

21 March – 2nd T20I – India Women v Momentum Proteas 

23 March – 3rd T20I – India Women v Momentum Proteas