Shabnim Ismail in action for South Africa during the 2019 4th Women T20 Cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Sahara Park Willowmoore Stadium in May 2019. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Shabnim Ismail in action for South Africa during the 2019 4th Women T20 Cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Sahara Park Willowmoore Stadium in May 2019. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Proteas Women to unleash their arsenal of pace bowlers at T20 world Cup

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Regardless of gender, the Proteas have traditionally relied on pace as their chief weapon of attack.

The upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia will be no different. Dane van Niekerk’s side will haul out their arsenal of fast bowlers to put the opposition under pressure.

It may be a bit “old school” with the shortest format dominated by slow poison artists these days, but when you have the quality of Marizanne Kapp, Ayabongha Khaka and Shabnim Ismail it would be foolish not to utilise such striking power.

Ismail, of course, was long regarded as “the fastest bowler in the world” while both Kapp and Khaka are experienced campaigners that have put the best batting line-ups in the world under pressure. Their class was on display this week when they rocked defending champions, Australia, in warm-up game.

Equally, unlike the previous two T20 World Cups that were held in India (2016) and West Indies (2018) where conditions were better suited to the slow bowlers, the hard and true surfaces of Australia should be tailormade for South Africa’s fearsome trio.

“Yes, the conditions are similar to South Africa,” Ismail said. “We have pace in our team with myself, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabongha Khaka, so we are really looking forward to getting a bowl over here.

“We speak about the trio a lot and we have prepared really well in South Africa, through to New Zealand and now here at the World Cup.”

South Africa's Sune Luus bowls during the match between the White Ferns and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, February 2020. Photo: Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
South Africa's Sune Luus bowls during the match between the White Ferns and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, February 2020. Photo: Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

The Proteas toured New Zealand prior to crossing the ditch to Australia for this T20 World Cup. It was a topsy-turvy tour for Van Niekerk’s side as they lost the T20 series, but triumphed in the ODI’s.

"Yes, we did lose the T20 series but our confidence is still up. We feel that the momentum is still with us. All our preparation was geared towards building for this T20 World Cup and to do well here. It is all about how we perform our role and what we focus on,” Ismail added.  

The veteran fast bowler, though, is champing at the bit to get stuck in at the WACA, which is traditionally Australia’s haven for fast bowling with the pitch long regarded as the quickest in the country.

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Furthermore, Ismail believes the challenge of facing England, the 50-overs world champions first up on Sunday, will motivate the squad to great heights.

“We spoke about coming to the T20 World Cup for a long time and preparing well. We’re looking forward to that first game against England, getting the momentum on our side and going right through to the semi-finals and finals,” she said.

@ZaahierAdams

 

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