Five keys to Proteas claiming women’s ODI series win over Australia

South Africa's Laura Wolvaardt celebrates after scoring a half-century (50 runs) during the semi-final T20 women's World Cup cricket match between South Africa and England at Newlands Stadium

The skipper Laura Wolvaardt will be pleased that her team are on the brink of rewriting the record books, but personally she will be disappointed with her contribution thus far. Picture: Marco Longari/AFP

Published Feb 9, 2024


The Proteas Women's team have the opportunity to achieve their first-ever ODI series victory over Australia on Saturday.

Independent Media takes a closer look at five things they need to do to make history.

Strike with the new ball

It may sound like an obvious statement, but the value of it against Australia cannot be understated. Marizanne Kapp’s sensational in-swinger that knocked over Beth Mooney’s middle stump set the tone in the second ODI and the Proteas will need similar inspiration in the series decider.

Captain Laura Wolvaardt needs runs

The skipper will be pleased that her team are on the brink of rewriting the record books, but personally she will be disappointed with her contribution thus far. Wolvaardt has extensive experience playing in Australia and would have headed Down Under with the intention to make a big statement against the world champions. It has unfortunately not worked out this way as yet with the skipper only managing a duck in the last game. But Wolvaardt is far too good a player to be kept quiet for that long, and equally she has shown that she has the temperament to perform in the big matches. Expect “Wolfie” to rediscover her touch and lead from the front.

Time to step-up Sune

Former skipper Sune Luus resigned from the captaincy last year to focus on her personal game. It has not quite worked out like she hoped with Luus struggling on the current tour of Australia. She only has a top score of 19 across formats which is simply not good enough for the No 4 batter - usually the role reserved for the premier batter in the team. There is no better time for Luus to rediscover her touch and make a meaningful contribution to her team.

This ain't the Marizanne Kapp show

The world’s best all-rounder has been superb with both bat and ball on this tour. The Proteas have relied heavily on her significant contributions. But even the greatest have an off day and the rest of the side will also need to carry the load, especially fellow all-rounder Nadine de Klerk. Named in the ICC ODI team last year, De Klerk has the pedigree. She claimed a couple of wickets to show some return to form, but she needs to be more consistent in order to lighten the load on Kapp.

Keep backing the youngsters

The Proteas showed great bravery in selecting both Elize-Mari Marx and Ayanda Hlubi ahead of the more experienced Ayabonga Khaka in the last game. It was a major call to throw the two young seamers in the deep end against the best batting unit in the women's game. But both of them responded with great performances. Hlubi, who was making her ODI debut, claimed the big wickets of Ellyse Perry and Georgia Wareham, while Marx also claimed 2/22. The performance would have done wonders for their confidence and they need to be shown the same support heading into this big pressure game.