Shabnim Ismail's 4-fer takes South Africa to a 2-1 series win over West Indies

Akash Ghosh
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Shabnim Ismail and relentlessness

Shabnim Ismail in action. © Cricket South Africa

South Africa had another perfect performance with the bat and the ball to clinch the ODI series 2-1 against West Indies. The Proteas celebrated the Black day with a six-wicket win over the visitors at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday (February 6). The hosts had a good day with the ball, bowling out West Indies for just 174 and then chasing it down in 40 overs. 

Chasing the total of 175, openers Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits started the innings steadily. Wolvaardt took off from where she had left off in the previous game, picking up three boundaries inside the powerplay. But, her stay was short lived as she was dismissed for 23 runs off the bowling of Aaliyah Alleyne. 

Her opening partner, Brits continued for a while, but ended up giving her wicket to Afy Fletcher, as the Proteas found themselves in some sort of trouble at 56 for 2 in 12 overs. However, skipper Sune Luus handled the pressure once again, as she had done in the last game. Her footwork against spin was impressive while she put her mind into sweeping once again. 

Andrie Steyn, who was playing her first match of the series, on the other end managed to hold the West Indies bowlers at bay. With limited risk and regular rotation of strike, Luus and Steyn both managed to put the visitors in pressure, making sure there weren’t any hiccups. 

As the Proteas went past hundred, the required rate came down to three. As the target kept coming closer and closer, the two batters managed to push the run rate. As Luus was moving towards her consecutive fifty, Anisa Mohammed found her in front of the wicket, getting her LBW for 47. 

A couple of overs later, Mohammed got one to turn from outside off-stump to come back into Steyn just after she got to her fifty. She was clean bowled for 52, but Chloe Tryon made sure that the wicket which fell didn’t put a lot of pressure on the team. She came out and hit a boundary of her first ball. Mignon du Preez followed up with a small cameo as well.

Tryon hit a few more boundaries in the next few overs to finish off the chase. South Africa reached the target in the 40th over with Tryon being unbeaten on 20 while du Preez was not out on six runs. 

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Earlier in the day, West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener Rashada Williams was bowled by Shabnim Ismail, but Deandra Dottina and Kycia Knight looked solid on the crease. Knight, especially started with a few boundaries, three of which came in an over by Nadine de Klerk. Dottin got into the act as well, hitting a four and a six in consecutive overs. 

However, Dottin faced a slight niggle, which seemed to have slowed her innings down. Having scored 30 runs from her first 33 deliveries, she took 30 deliveries more to add six runs to her total. This is the exact time when the visitors slowed down as well. From 57 for 1 after 11 overs, they found themselves at 84 for 1 after 22 overs. 

But, Ismail came back to get rid of Dottin for 36, which helped in swinging back the momentum into the favor of the Proteas team. Knight, on the other hand, continued her good form playing a brilliant 48 run-knock. However, she fell in the 28th over to Tryon. Her wicket saw another little blimp in the run rate, as runs dried up. 

Hayley Matthews was next to head back to the pavilion for 8, when Laura Wolvaardt took a screamer off the bowling of Tumi Sekhukhune. At this point, 31 overs into the innings, West Indies needed to accelerate with the score being 107 for 4. 

Tryon bowled a fantastic spell in the middle, restricting the flow of runs and also picking wickets. Her second wicket came when she yorked Shemaine Campbelle for 15. Tryon ended her spell with figures of 6-2-12-2. Ayabonga Khaka also played her part, following up from her economical opening spell, she picked up the wickets of Alleyne for one and Cherry Ann-Fraser for 6. 

Ismail returned for her third spell and found her rhythm back. She picked up the wickets of Anisa Mohammed and Mandy Mangru in the late 40 overs. Shamilia Connell played a small cameo of 15 runs from seven deliveries, which helped West Indies to get a few runs towards the death overs, which propelled them to 174 runs. Nadine de Klerk picked up the last wicket, while Ismail ended with four wickets for the second time in this series. 

Brief scores: 

South Africa 175/4 in 39.5 overs (Andrie Steyn 52; Anisa Mohammed 2/31) beat West Indies 174 all-out in 49.2 overs (Kycia Knight 48; Shabnim Ismail 4/44) by six wickets.