Windies girls fall to South Africans in top-of-table clash

Potchefstroom, South Africa - South Africa beat West Indies today in what was arguably the most anticipated match of the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge in Potchefstroom. The two unbeaten teams faced off in an exciting display of cricket with both bat and ball, but it was the host nation that came out victorious.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat and made 161 all out. The Proteas replied with 161-4 to win by six wickets. When the Windies batted, South Africa claimed the early wicket of Juliana Nero, who departed for eight in the third over.

Captain Merissa Aguilleira joined in-form batter, Stafanie Taylor, in what was hoped to be the partnership that would steer the game towards a high scoring end. It was not to be, as the South Africans came out guns blazing and Taylor was dismissed leg-before wicket by Sunette Loubser for 20 runs.It was the first time in the tournament that the in-form Taylor failed to reach 50.

Aguilleira and Deandra Dottin were both dismissed an over later, Aguilleira gone for 28 and Dottin departing without scoring. The rest of the batters made crucial mistakes at the worst times, Stacy-Ann King who was looking positive with the bat, was run out by Loubser for 38 and just five overs later Shanel Daley was run out by Shabnum Ismail for 23. Wickets aside, West Indies managed a competitive score -- but it was the first time in the tournament they were bowled out.

The South African batters came out strong, Trisha Chetty and Shandre Fritz did well to create a 33-run partnership, but Chetty fell victim to Daley and was caught and bowled for 11. Fritz and captain, Cri-Zelda Brits held the innings together with a 62-run partnership which saw Fritz playing her best game in the tournament, falling to a run-out by Taylor for 43 off 70 balls.

Brits was dismissed two overs later, caught and bowled by off-spinner Cordel Jack. Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp’s 37 runs helped to steer South Africa to it six-wicket victory over the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2010 semi-finalists.

After the match coach Sherwin Campbell said his girls "did not bring their A game" and they paid the price. The Windies suffered three run outs and simply ndid not have enough runs on the board to pressure the home team.

South Africa coach, Yashin Ebrahim was delighted with the win. “I’m happy because it was a team effort, the bowling, the fielding and batting all came together and this was the result. It is something that we have tried to instil within the team, everyone working together for a common cause and I am pleased that it came together like this.”

In other matches, Ireland claimed its first victory of the tournament when they faced Netherlands and Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 31 runs. Monday is a rest day and the tournament will continue in Tuesday when the Windies will face Pakistan. First ball is 10 am (4 am Eastern Caribbean Team/3 am Jamaica Time).