It was a red-letter day for the Leinster duo of Laura Delany and Rebecca Stokell who made their 100th and first appearances respectively for Ireland Women against hosts South Africa in the latest ODI in the Quadrangular Series.
Unfortunately the match itself proved something of a harsh lesson for the Girls In Green as South Africa racked up 337 for 5, with opener Laura Wolvaardt scoring a run-a-ball 149, which included 17 boundaries.
She shared an opening stand of 68 with Lizelle Lee (40), but the real damage was inflicted in a second wicket partnership of 179 from 177 balls with Trisha Chetty (70).
Mignon du Preez smashed a quick-fire 32 as the hosts piled on the runs despite the best efforts of the Irish attack.
YMCA’s Aoife Beggs claimed 3 for 64, while the other successful bowler was Louise Little.
In reply Ireland battled throughout, with Malahide opener Mary Waldron top scoring with 35, sharing in a 51 run stand for the second wicket with Delany (23).
There were breezy cameos from Jenny Gray (19) and 16 year-old Lara Maritz made her highest ODI score – 25, as the Irish batted their fifty overs to finish on 159 for 8.
The next match for the Irish is on Monday, when they face tournament favourites India.
Quadrangular Tournament, Potchefstroom, 11 May.
South Africa 337-5 (50 overs; L Wolvaardt 149, T Chetty 70, L Lee 40, M Du Preez 32, A Beggs 3-24)
Ireland 159-8 (50 overs; M Waldron 35, L Maritz 25, L Delany 23)
South Africa beat Ireland by 178 runs.