Mignon du Preez struck her second ODI century and gave South Africa Women an unassailable 2-0 lead over Ireland Women in the four-match series in Dublin. After du Preez's 99-ball 116 led her side to 272 for 6, the bowlers strung together a collective performance to dismiss Ireland for 204.
Having opted to bat, South Africa started strongly with openers Laura Wolvaardt and Trisha Chetty adding 65 in 17 overs. Du Preez, at No. 3, built on the foundation despite a mini-collapse in the middle overs. They lost three wickets in four balls when seamer Lucy O'Reilly removed Chetty for 49 and Andrie Steyn for a first-ball duck at the end of the 30th over. Two balls later, Isobel Joyce bowled Dinesha Devnarain for a duck as well, and then Suné Luus fell lbw to Ciara Metcalfe for 10 in the 36th over. South Africa slipped from 140 for 1 to 168 for 5 but du Preez counter-punched.
She got to her first fifty off 46 balls and needed only 42 balls for the second. She stroked 13 fours, and in the process registered the second-highest score by a South Africa player in women's ODIs. Du Preez found assistance from Chloe Tryon who made 52, her second successive half-century, in an 89-run stand for the sixth wicket. Tryon offered a return catch to Kim Garth in the penultimate over of the innings, but by then the visitors had passed 250.
Seamer Masabata Klaas cashed in on South Africa's momentum and removed Ireland's openers for single-digit scores in the fourth over. There was no recovery from the middle order and when Garth was bowled by Marcia Letsoalo for 16, Ireland became 86 for 6 in 22.5 overs. Clare Shillington and wicketkeeper Mary Waldron contributed forties, but all it did was soften the blow of defeat. Klaas, Luus and Yolani Fourie claimed two wickets each to bowl Ireland out in 48.2 overs. The third ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.