Gqeberha — The Proteas women’s team completed their preparations for the T20 World Cup with a six-wicket victory over Pakistan in their final warm-up game at Boland Park on Wednesday.
IOL Sport selects five game-changers in the Proteas squad who are set to make a significant impact when they face Sri Lanka in the tournament’s opening game at Newlands on Friday:
The all-rounder has been a revelation for the Proteas recently. She has eased the concerns that came with the omission of Dane van Niekerk by showing just how capable she is with both bat and ball. A batting strike-rate of 140 in T20 internationals proves how dangerous she is. She followed up her unbeaten 57 in the Tri-Series final earlier this month with a career-best 65 in the warm-up match against England. She has taken 24 wickets to go with the 957 runs she has accumulated in her T20 international career. Chloe Tryon is a shining light for the Proteas heading into the World Cup and is one to keep an eye on.
The name needs no introduction. Marizanne Kapp has already reached legendary status in the game with her incredible performances and fierce competitive spirit. She embodies the South African spirit.
Her 67 wickets at an economy rate just over five runs to the over in T20 internationals make her an exceptional performer. On the batting front, she has two half-centuries under her belt in the shortest format. Kapp is undoubtedly an impact player in the squad.
At only 22-years of age, Nonkululeko Mlaba has broken into the top bowlers list in T20s. She currently sits at second place on the rankings behind England’s Sophie Ecclestone.
She has made a name for herself as one of the few off-spinners who relish bowling with the new ball in the unforgiving powerplay. With 22 wickets in only 27 matches, Mlaba is one to watch at the World Cup.
Since making her debut in 2016, Wolvaardt has proven to be a rock in the Proteas’ batting order. She is known for her consistency with the bat and her stunning catches in the field. She has smashed 857 runs in only 47 T20s and has four half-centuries to her name. Batting at the top of the order, Wolvaardt will grace supporters with her stunning cover drives and entertain the crowd during the World Cup.
A silent assassin off the field but a competitor on it, Ayabonga Khaka is one of the senior players in the Proteas team. At 30-years-old and 11 years into her international career, Khaka carries a wealth of experience that should benefit South Africa at the World Cup. Her experience makes her calm in high-pressure situations and she forms a potent pace trio with Shabnim Ismail and Kapp.