Southern Stars wrap ODI series with win in Coffs
SPURRED on by strong home crowd support, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars claimed a comprehensive victory in the fifth and final One Day International of the series against South Africa.
The Australian women's cricket team dominated with the bat at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium to wrap up the series 4-0 after Sunday's thrilling tie.
Batting first, captain Meg Lanning and opener Nicole Bolton laid a solid platform for the Australian team pushing the score past 100 before the world's most in-form batter Ellyse Perry took over.
The all-rounder made 56 off as many deliveries making it the 17th time she'd passed 50 from her past 24 international innings.
With support from Jess Jonassen, the Australian team set a the Proteas a target of 261. A total which seemed out of reach early in the chase, particularly with captain and class batter Dane van Niekerk missing the match with a hamstring strain.
Openers Lizelle Lee and Sune Luus had the South African innings off to a flyer but two quick run outs proved a setback too difficult to overcome.
Some middle order resistance from Mignon du Preez, stand-in skipper Dinesha Devnarain and Chloe Tryon provided some frustration for the Aussies but merely delayed the inevitable with 43 runs being the final margin.
Perry finished the night with three wickets next to her name while off spinner Grace Harris took two.
Named both player of the match and the series, Perry said a focus on some more aggression while batting helped create the result.
"That was a big thing that we spoke about after the last game, just trying to keep some momentum and some tempo throughout our innings" she said.
"I thinkat times, especially two days ago, it was a bit flat in the middle periods. They (South Africa) bowled really well to their credit but it was about upping the tempo a little bit and we managed to do that.
"I thought Nicole Bolton was really great at the top of the order and Meg (Lanning) obviously again shows she's world class every time she bats and we managed to hold that through the middle which was really good."
More than 1,000 people came through the gates throughout the day/night contest and Perry admitted it was nice to hear plenty of support coming from the grandstand and hills.
"The crowd has been fantastic," Perry said.
"I think it's been really great to be able to come to a place like Coffs and have a big turnout, especially the number of young kids that have come along, boys and girls and how interested they are in the cricket.
"I think for us as a team that's really pleasing to see that and we love playing in front of crowds like that."