Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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New Zealand 210 for 4 (Kerr 100*, Halliday 37*, Malta 2-41) beat South Africa 209 (Kapp 72, Devine 3-33, Tahuhu 3-43, Kerr 2-43) by six wickets (DLS method)
A calm and composed Amelia Kerr took New Zealand over the line with an unbeaten century after they were set a target of 210 in 45 overs, in Durban, on what their captain Sophie Devine called a "tricky surface". It was a consolation win for New Zealand as hosts South Africa had already won the series by claiming the first two ODIs. But two points took New Zealand to the top half of the Women's Championship table, where they are now fifth and South Africa second, behind India.
Even though South Africa lost a fired-up Marizanne Kapp after she had bowled just three overs in the chase - her heart rate spiked up and she left the field as a precaution. CSA had later said she was "doing well and resting in the changeroom" - they will also rue the fielding lapses, dropped catches and missed run-out chances that might have changed the result. New Zealand's batters, led by Kerr's fourth ODI century, cashed in on the slip-ups and got home with ten balls to spare.
After opting to bowl, New Zealand had the hosts in a spot of bother when their quick bowlers Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu and Devine combined to reduce South Africa to 43 for 3 in the 12th over. When it looked like in-form captain Laura Wolvaardt and Kapp were going to keep them steady, Devine sent Wolvaardt back for a 54-ball 24 with a drag-on while playing her trademark drive. From there, Kapp not only salvaged the innings but pushed along at a brisk pace even though wickets fell around her.
She was mainly assisted by Chloe Tryon, playing her 100th ODI, in a fifth-wicket stand of 58 and then by Sinola Jafta for a partnership of 41 for the seventh wicket. Once Jafta was caught behind off Tahuhu, Kapp also edged behind, for 72 off 73 off Kerr, with the score on 188. South Africa were soon bowled out for 209 in 44.3 overs.
Morning showers had turned this into a 48-over game at the start, a further interruption in the middle reduced it to 45 overs a side and since the hosts were all out, New Zealand had to chase 210 and not a revised target.
South Africa started their defence in strong fashion when Suzie Bates, playing her 300th international game, was caught at midwicket by a diving Tazmin Brits off Masabata Klaas for 9. The ease with which Kerr and Devine then put on 64 for the second wicket, taking them past 100 in the process, made it look like the visitors would stroll to the target. But Nonkululeko Mlaba's double-strike and Maddy Green's duck added a twist. Devine and Green were both victims of misfortune: the New Zealand captain tried to push a seemingly innocuous ball to the covers, but it kept low and rolled onto her stumps. In the next over, Green danced down the track and went for a drive, she missed it as did Jafta but the ball bounced off the wicketkeeper's gloves and hit the stumps. Georgia Plimmer's cut, away from the body, offered a simple catch to point off Mlaba. It had New Zealand tightly placed 127 for 4, having lost 3 for 21 in the previous 49 balls.
The wickets added to a boundary drought that lasted over 12 overs, but Brooke Halliday broke the shackles in the 31st over. The fifth-wicket stand saw off a tense phase with Kerr surviving a close lbw shout, off Tryon, and Halliday's chip down the ground falling just short of mid-off in the same over. Halliday soon survived a run-out chance as well, thanks to a full-length dive. She got another life when Klaas put down a sitter at midwicket in the 41st over. By now, Kerr had reached a solid 87 with the help of 11 fours, most of them coming behind square and through the covers, and she, with Halliday, had ensured the asking rate never crossed six an over for most of their partnership. And when it did, Halliday smacked Klaas for three fours in an over before Kerr got to 99 with a four next over and tapped the ball towards point to pinch the single that completed her match-winning century along with the game.