CAPE TOWN – Captain Dané van Niekerk was the star of the show as the Proteas Women dismantled Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their opening T20 International at Newlands on Friday.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat on a hot Cape Town day, but it was the South African attack that sizzled.
The visitors’ biggest partnership was 24, with opener Hasini Perera top-scoring with 27. The only other player to reach double figures was Imalka Mendis, who was unbeaten on 25 as Sri Lanka made just 90/8 in their 20 overs.
After opening bowlers Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail were kept at bay by the Sri Lankan batters, Masabata Klaas came on to make the crucial breakthrough, with Anushka Sanjeewani caught by Tumi Sekhukhune for nine.
Thereafter it was the Van Niekerk show, as she claimed the next three wickets to fall to leave the Sri Lankans on 51/4.
They managed to bat out the 20 overs, but a target of 91 was never going to trouble the South Africans.
Van Niekerk and Tamzin Brits put on 25 for the first wicket, but even though Kapp and Mignon du Preez couldn’t get going, the skipper powered her way to 71 not out off just 55 balls, hitting 13 boundaries in the process.
The next match takes place at the Wanderers on Sunday (9.45am start), with the final T20I at Centurion on Wednesday (1pm).
It’s all over in Cape Town! Congratulations to the #ProteasWomen on their 7-wicket win and to captain Dané van Niekerk on her Player of the Match award for her 4-0-12-3 and 71 not out. #AlwaysRising pic.twitter.com/AAgrwielEa— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 1, 2019