Wolvaardt, Kapp heroics, but Proteas Women fall just short in record India chase

PROTEAS Women captain Laura Wolvaardt and all-rounder Marizanne Kapp scored hundreds against India on Wednesday. Photo: PHANDO JIKELO Independent Newspapers

PROTEAS Women captain Laura Wolvaardt and all-rounder Marizanne Kapp scored hundreds against India on Wednesday. Photo: PHANDO JIKELO Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 19, 2024


A 184-RUN stand between centurions Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp saw the Proteas Women fall tantalisingly short of what would have been a world-record 326-run chase in the second One-Day International against India at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Ultimately, the South Africans went down by just four runs to lose the three-match series 2-0.

Wolvaardt and Kapp did an incredible job rebuilding the innings, having lost Tazmin Brits (five) in the fourth over of the run-chase, Anneke Bosch (18) in the 12th and Suné Luus (12) three overs later.

However, Wolvaardt and Kapp displayed the fighting spirit that South Africa is known for across all sporting codes as they absorbed the pressure from the India attack and transferred it back when they found their groove.

Wolvaardt played the elegant drives she is known for while assuming the role of the accumulator in the partnership as she smashed 12 fours and three sixes in her unbeaten run-a-ball 135.

At the opposite end, Kapp was aggressively going about her business as she brought up a 94-ball 114 that saw her hit 11 boundaries and three sixes.

When Kapp was dismissed, South Africa needed 75 runs off the last 44 deliveries for victory.

All-rounder Nadine de Klerk (28 off 22 balls, 2x4, 1x6) walked to the middle and picked up where Kapp left off, getting the visitors to within six runs of the target before she was dismissed with three balls remaining.

The worst happened as lower-order batter Nondumiso Shangase, the only recognised batter left in the line-up, got a first-ball duck.

Wolvaardt managed to regain the strike for the final ball needing five runs to win, but swung hard and missed, which saw the visitors lose by four runs and the series 2-0, with one match remaining on Sunday.

“I think four runs is a bit heartbreaking in a chase of 300-plus. But extremely proud of the group to get us to the position that we did,” Wolvaardt said in the post-match TV interview.

“At the halfway stage, if you see that huge total on the board, it would’ve been easy to go into our shells.

“We didn’t have the fastest start with the bat either, but Kappie just took so much pressure off the entire line-up with her aggressive play in the middle, and got us into a position to win that game.

“The ‘death’ plans (for bowling) can be a bit better as well – we just leaked a bit too much in that last 10 (overs), whereas India nailed their yorkers pretty well at the death.

“It was a bit difficult, the fielding wasn’t great. You can look back at each little thing in a four-run loss, which makes it a little bit annoying, but we can look back at one of our best batting performances in quite a while.

“My feet are pretty sore. I will have a good sleep tonight if I can switch off a bit later.”

Earlier, South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl first despite having lost the first ODI on the back of the hosts opting to bat at the same venue.

At the toss, Wolvaardt announced that experienced wicket-keeper batter Sinalo Jafta had been ruled out due to mild concussion, having taken a blow to the head during practice.

As a result, Oudtshoorn-based wicket-keeper Meike de Ridder replaced Jafta behind the stumps. Fast bowler Annerie Dercksen, who made her debut during the 143-run defeat in the first ODI, was replaced by all-rounder De Klerk.

Fast bowlers Ayabonga Khaka and Masabata Klaas took the new ball for the visitors, as they did in the first match, and were met with the same intensity by Indian opener Smriti Mandhana (136, 18x4, 2x6), who scored a second successive century.

Mandhana took advantage of the inexperienced Proteas spin duo of Shangase (0/57) and Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/51).

During the carnage, the visitors did not do themselves any favours as they dropped Dayalan Hemalatha on two occasions, with Luus dropping the batter on 13 before De Ridder gave yet another lifeline.

Klaas got the job done as Hemalatha was dismissed for 23, making way for captain Harmaanpreet Kaur.

Kaur, alongside Mandhana, brought up a sixth career century as she finished unbeaten on 103, smashing nine boundaries and three sixes to help India set a daunting 325/3.