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Shabnim Ismail still has more to give to the Proteas

South Africas Shabnim Ismail reacts to a missed catch. ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, Wellington New Zealand, 22 March 2022. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz / BackpagePix

South Africas Shabnim Ismail reacts to a missed catch. ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, Wellington New Zealand, 22 March 2022. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz / BackpagePix

Published Jun 12, 2022

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Johannesburg - After becoming the second highest wicket taker in One-day Internationals, Shabnim Ismail says she still has more to offer the Proteas ahead of a busy period for the national team featuring a number of high profile events.

Ismail, 33, is one of the veterans in a South African team that for the Ireland portion of their tour to Europe, is starting to go through a rebuilding phase. Ismail showed her value on Saturday in the opening ODI against Ireland claiming 3/16 as the Proteas dismissed the home team for just 69 in 27.2 overs to set up dominant nine wicket victory.

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In the process, the South Africans also picked up their first points in the International Women’s Championship, which will determine the automatic qualifiers for the 2025 World Cup.

Ismail moved ahead of Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick, to become the second highest wicket taker in ODIs with 181 wickets, although she is still some way off of Indian great Jhulan Goswami, who tops that category with 252 wickets.

“I don’t compete against anyone in the world but against myself, which I think has made me successful in all the years that I have been playing,” Ismail, who has played 123 ODIs, said. “ I’ve been playing for 15 years for South Africa and I feel that there is still more in the tank .  It's nice to be up there with the best in the world, but the hard part is actually staying up there, keeping fit and working on your skills and staying a professional person.”

Her opening spell on Saturday completely deflated the Irish, with the wicket of their captain Gaby Lewis, a demonstration of Ismail’s skill and ability to implement a plan perfectly. “We saw how good Gaby could play in the T20s, so we knew we had to get rid of early,” said Ismail.

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“I wanted to drag her forward and once she felt comfortable on the front foot, give the bouncer.”

The plan worked perfectly with Lewis mistiming an attempted pull and Ismail completing the catch in her follow through.

Despite missing some of the big name players, South Africa is still expected to be too strong for the IRish, who are also missing some of their most experienced players, but Ismail said the Proteas were wary of taking the Irish lightly. “We don’t take any team lightly. I practice like we want to win every game. We prepare as if we want to play our best cricket and that showed today.”

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The Proteas were sharper in the field than was the case in the T20s, backing up the excellent bowling with good catching.

With the bat, Andrie Steyn, who partner Laura Wolvaardt at top of the innings and Lara Goodall made short work of the run chase, getting to the target in the 16th over.

The second match of the series will be played at the Clontarf cricket club on Tuesday.

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Related Topics:

CricketODIWomen

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