Wellington: Skipper Meg Lanning (135 not out) led Australia to a five-wicket win over South Africa, as the Down Under side continued their unbeaten run at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 on Tuesday while ending the Proteas’. Laura Wolvaardt (90) fell short of a century as South Africa set Australia a challenging 272 to win at Basin Reserve. However, South Africa had no match for an imperious Lanning as she steered Australia to a dominant victory which ensured they will finish no lower than second. Having been put in to bat, Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee reached 88 runs for South Africa’s highest opening partnership of the tournament before Lee (36) fell to Alana King. Lara Goodall, who came into the side for a struggling Tazmin Brits, timed the ball well but could make only 15 before she provided King with a routine catch off the bowling of Annabel Sutherland. Wolvaardt and Sune Luus continued their fruitful partnership, putting on 91 for the third wicket as Wolvaardt reached her fourth consecutive World Cup fifty. A century again proved elusive, however, the opener fell 10 runs short as Ashleigh Gardner earned her first wicket. Luus (52) departed as Tahlia McGrath took her second catch of the day – this one much simpler than the catch to dismiss Wolvaardt. Losing their two set batters saw South Africa slip to 216 for four and Mignon du Preez was given another chance to get some runs in the tournament, having made just 27 across the Proteas’ previous four matches. She added only 14 to the total but her dismissal was not entirely her fault, as Gardner plucked the ball out of the sky at full stretch, stopping what looked to be a six to reduce South Africa to 228 for five. Marizanne Kapp and Chloe Tryon added valuable runs at the death, Kapp finishing on 30 not out and Tryon hitting Megan Schutt for the only six of the innings. Australia had a flying start to their chase of 272, taking 14 off the first two overs before Alyssa Healy (5) was caught behind by Trisha Chetty off the bowling of a roaring Shabnim Ismail. The dismissal brought Lanning to the crease and, she and vice-captain Rachael Haynes put Australia in a strong position at 45 for one after the powerplay. Haynes then departed for 17, with du Preez getting her own back by taking a stunning catch in full flight to hand Tryon an unlikely first wicket. Ellyse Perry did not come out to bat at four, her departure from the field with a back injury meaning she could come in no higher than seven, but the equally able Beth Mooney took her place. Lanning was typically ruthless in her pursuit of leading her side to victory, taking on World Cup debutant Tumi Sekhukhune as she brought up 52 from 57 balls. Sekhukhune made amends in the field, producing a direct hit to dismiss Mooney for 21 and reduced Australia to 114 for three after 20 overs. Lanning had let a hundred pass her by against India, falling for 97, but she was not to be denied on this occasion and brought up her 15th ODI century with a four off Ayabonga Khaka, strengthening her grip on the most hundreds in women’s ODIs. After twice being dropped, McGrath was finally caught by Kapp for 32 from 35 balls to calm a seething Ismail. Gardner then departed for 22 as Tryon got a second wicket but Australia were always comfortable at 241 for five with 10 overs remaining. Lanning was there at the end and Sutherland hit the winning runs to earn Australia’s sixth win in as many games. Brief scores: South Africa 271/5 in 50 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 90, Sune Luus 52; Annabel Sutherland 1/26) lost to Australia 272/5 in 45.2 overs (Meg Lanning 135 not out, Tahlia McGrath 32; Shabnim Ismail 2/33) by 5 wickets.