In a thrilling final match of the series West Indies defeated South Africa by 22 runs, as they managed to defend a below-par score of 177 for 8, based mainly around the contributions of Staphanie Taylor (76) and Shemaine Campbelle (47).
Having been inserted by the Proteas, the West Indies looked like there were heading for a big score as Taylor and Campbelle took their score to 129 after the early loss of Kycia Knight, but when the two of them fell within the space of four overs the West Indies innings subsided to a mediocre 177, which the South African's must have fancied chasing down. Dane van Niekerk (3-31) and Sunette Loubser (1-26) were again the pick of the bowlers, but in truth they all bowled a decent line and length.
Once again South Africa made a poor start in reply losing Trisha Chetty (9) and debuting opener Thandile Cordes (11) with just 24 on the board. Skipper Mignon du Preez (25) and then Marizanne Kapp (40) and Cri-Zelda Brits (35) seemed to have got South Africa back in the game as they took the score to 98 with just three wickets down, but another sudden flurry of wickets put the pressure on Brits to try and lead the Proteas home. For a brief spell she had the company of Chloe Tryon, who looked to have the skill and nous to help her achieve her goal, but when she drove to Taylor at cover and Loubser came to the crease, the West Indies just needed to keep their heads to win - something which the South Africans seemed unable to do. Loubser was soon run out, Dinesha Devnarain came and went and Brits finally managed to get herself run out after a couple of previous unsuccessful attempts.
Taylor was rightly named player of the match and of the series. Both her batting and her bowling are vital to this West Indies side.
Overall the West Indies will probably be disappointed that they did not perform better - certainly with the bat. Their spin bowling options in Shanel Daley (who I think had been carrying an injury and missed the last game), the young Shaquana Quintyne, and Taylor looked reasonable, although off-spinner Anisa Mohammed took just 4 wickets in the series at an average of over 31, which was a poor return for a woman ranked number six in the world.
As for the South Africans, they should take heart from the fact that they have drawn this first ODI series in the West Indies. Van Niekerk and Loubser have spun the ball consistently and bowled a good line and length, but the side's fielding has sometimes let them down, as has their running between the wickets. It is worrying that none of their batters averaged more than 27 and only one, Chetty, passed 50. If they could post totals in excess of 200, as they did in the first game of the series, then they would be a tough side to beat. They will go to the World Cup with high hopes of getting to the Super 6 stage. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.
scorecard - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/588497.html