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Marizanne Kapp delighted with career best effort for Proteas in England Test

Published Jun 27, 2022

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Johannesburg - “Usually, I aim for fifties given the formats we play,” Marizanne Kapp chirped after a stunning career-best performance with the bat on the opening day of the once-off Test against England in Taunton on Monday.

“To score 150 today is pretty special, it’s going to be a massive highlight in my career.”

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Fifties don’t cut it in Test cricket and it wouldn’t have done the Proteas much good, given the state of play when Kapp joined skipper Sune Luus at the crease. South Africa was 45/4, the top order and Lizelle Lee blown away by some excellent and enthusiastic bowling by England’s youthful attack - which featured three debutants.

Kapp knuckled down, added 44 runs for the fifth wicket with Luus and then 72 runs for the fifth wicket with Anneke Bosch to help South Africa reach 284 all out at stumps.

Kapp contributed 150, a magnificent innings, that included 23 fours and continued a remarkable 2022 in which her batting has taken off and made her into one of the elite performers in the sport. Kapp averaged 40 with the bat at the World Cup where she produced match winning innings against New Zealand and England in the group stages. “I just feel like at times it's so difficult to focus on both bowling and batting. I feel like one always takes preference,” she said.

“I’ve been working with some special coaches, who’ve really helped me on this journey. The confidence is growing which is why I’m starting to play a lot better. It’s small things I’ve been working on, it comes down to confidence. It took one or two innings for me, that has helped me cross that line, it should be good going forward now.”

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Kapp, who along with Lizelle Lee, were the only two members of the Proteas starting side with Test experience, said she was very nervous before play started and stayed that way even at the beginning of her innings. She admitted she didn’t feel she had used last week’s warm-up match against England A in the right way. “When I played that warm up game I thought to myself that I shouldn't be playing Test cricket because I batted like it was a T20 game. Luckily today it came off for me. If you take it ball by ball and forget about the colour of the ball, it really helps a lot.”

Besides the sixth wicket partnership with Bosch, who made 30, Kapp also shared stands of 41 for the seventh wicket with Nadine de Klerk and 49 for the ninth wicket with Tumi Sekhukhune, explaining that communicating with the lower order batters, helped with her game. “It helps me maybe a lot more than it helps them, because if I focus on the other batter, it feels like it takes the pressure off me. It’s what happened throughout the World Cup,” said Kapp.

“I feel like when I give advice it helps me focus a bit more. I was just telling them to stay in as long as possible, because I knew, the older the ball got ,that I would be able to take on the England bowlers a bit more. Being a bowler, I knew they’d get tired as well, that last session was going to be tough.  I thought the lower order did brilliantly.”

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While happy with South Africa’s first innings total, Kapp acknowledged that pitch got flatter in the final session and bowling would be hard work. “It’s still going to be tough for our bowlers, that pitch has flattened out, but I’m happy with that score.”

@shockerhess

IOL Sport

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