Five things the Proteas Women ODI series loss taught us

Marizanne Kapp was one of the best performers in the ODI series against England. Photo: Steve Poole/ProSports/Shutterstock

Marizanne Kapp was one of the best performers in the ODI series against England. Photo: Steve Poole/ProSports/Shutterstock

Published Jul 19, 2022


The Proteas women were well beaten in the third ODI against England. IOL Sport’s Stuart Hess looks at what the series loss has highlighted for the South Africans.


Mignon du Preez’s retirement after the World Cup, Lizelle Lee’s shock exit and the continued absence of fulltime skipper, Dane van Niekerk, are harder gaps to fill than perhaps initially anticipated. The team’s batting suffered in particular, and patience will have to be shown with Andrie Steyn and Lara Goodall as they come to terms with the higher standards demanded at international level.


While three different players made hundreds for England, and Nat Sciver was magnificent at no.4, South Africa relied on just three batters; Laura Wolvaardt, Chloe Tryon and Marizanne Kapp for runs. In Wolvaardt’s case she was having to manage the top order while adopting a more attacking role given Lee’s retirement. The younger players struggled to come to terms with the higher standard England set than what they faced against Ireland. Sune Luus averaged 6.66 for the series.


The old firm of Kapp and Ismail were outbowled by England, who unleashed a pair of exciting young seamers on the international stage in the shape of Izzy Wong - who will take over from Isamil soon as the women’s game’s quickest bowler - and the lanky Lauren Bell. Between them Kapp and Ismail claimed just three wickets, while Ayabonga Khaka was largely ineffective as well. South Africa’s best bowlers were Tryon and Nonkululeko Mlaba, but they only offered a modicum of control.


Don’t watch the 20th over of England’s innings from the third match - what a horror show, featuring two dropped catches and a missed run out. South Africa’s fielding remains alarmingly inconsistent. It is the one area of the game that is within the players's control, and yet South Africa shift between the sublime - Kapp’s catch on Monday - and the ridiculous - that 20th over. A training camp, just focussing on fielding, wouldn't be remiss.


Also going through transitions, with the likes of Wong, Bell and Emma Lamb delivering superb performances in their first taste of international competition. England have the structures in place domestically, with regular local competitions, that allied with a tournament like The Hundred, provide a feeder for the national team. South Africa doesn’t have that and so will continue to rely on senior players, while hoping the youngsters can learn on the job at the highest level. South African cricket needs regular domestic competitions for the women’s players but getting that going with the financial constraint CSA has at the moment, is difficult.