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Lee, Wolvaardt star in South Africa's emphatic win against New Zealand

Auckland, Jan 25 (UNI) Nineties from openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt helped
South Africa to a seven-wicket win over hosts New Zealand in the first one-day
international here on Saturday.
The visitors hunted down the 260-run target with nine balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead
in the three-match series.
Lee and Wolvaardt shared a massive 163-run opening stand in 31.2 overs to lay a solid foundation. Lee was the aggressor in the partnership, hitting 13 fours during her run-a-ball
stay before being dismissed just one short of what could have been her third ton in the
Sune Luus, the new batter, scored a quick 15 but was dismissed within three overs after
Lee's departure. Despite the two quick wickets, Wolvaardt maintined her solidity and
continued to anchor the chase. She was aided by the captain Dane van Niekerk, who
scored a 43-ball 37 and shared a 64-run stand for the third wicket.
By the time, van Niekerk was out in the 47th over off Holly Huddleston, South Africa only
needed 16 runs to win and they scaled the target with ease, an ICC report said.
Wolvaardt remained unbeaten on 91 and Mignon du Preez (8 not out) hit the winning
runs. New Zealand used as many as seven bowlers, but only Huddleston, Suzie Bates
and Hayley Jensen could bag a wicket each.
Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss and put in New Zealand to bat. The hosts
got off to a slow start, losing their openers within 15 overs with only 51 on the board.
Suzie Bates (53) and Katie Perkins (78) fought back admirably to push them past 250,
but losing wickets at regular intervals during the the final 10 overs didn't help the cause,
as they eventually finished at 259/9 at the end of 50 overs.
Ayabonga Khaka bowled a brilliant final over, giving away only five runs while picking
up two wickets, including that of the well set Perkins for 78.
Khaka and Masabata Klaas were the pick of the South African bowlers, with three
scalps each. Shabnim Ismail picked up two wickets while birthday girl Chloe Tyron
picked up the lone wicket of captain Sophie Devine.
The second ODI will be played at the same venue on January 27.
Brief score:
New Zealand - 259/9
South Africa - 260/3
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