Kapp is not a fan of the wicket at Manuka Oval
JOHANNESBURG – Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk have had a homecoming of sorts as South Africa wrapped up preparations for their second T20 World Cup match at the Manuka Oval in Canberra today.
The dynamic duo had a short stint playing for the Australian Capital Territories Meteors in Australia’s Women’s National League 50-over competition in 2017-18. Kapp played four matches and Van Niekerk two, achieving success with bat and ball. Van Niekerk made two half-centuries, one of them at Manuka Oval, while Kapp, picked up seven wickets in her four matches with her economy rate, below four an over during her time there.
Despite that, she is not particularly enamoured with the ground.
“I’m not the biggest fan of the wicket, it’s a bit flat, hopefully the batters will enjoy it,” Kapp said.
There has been plenty to smile about in the Proteas camp as they continue to bask in the glow of the opening win against England in Perth last Sunday.
The players drew a lot of confidence from a terrific all-round performance, typified by Kapp who picked up two wickets and then scored 38 as part of a critical 84-run partnership with Van Niekerk.
As much as that win will have emboldened the South African players there will also have been a strong message to leave it behind, because there remains some tricky encounters to overcome if they want to achieve their initial goal of qualifying for the semi-finals.
While South Africa are in the easier of the two pools for this year’s tournament, their own performance against England, India’s against Australia and Sri Lanka’s against the hosts has shown just how close the competition is between the teams.
The Proteas can’t afford to be complacent, even if their next opponents tomorrow, Thailand, are playing in their first World Cup. “They look good in the field and they have a lot of spinners. We can’t take anything lightly, we have to start all over again,” said Kapp.
The Thais have certainly charmed the world with the way in which they have embraced their underdog status and also their willingness to learn from their opponents. But they are a limited side, as England showed in thumping them by 98 runs yesterday.
South Africa need to show similar ruthlessness tomorrow. “Hopefully in every game we can keep on improving,” said Kapp.
She’s right, as good as last Sunday’s win was, there were areas that could be improved. Certainly she and Van Niekerk left Mignon du Preez more to do than she should have had to at the “death” and being more aggressive with the bat through the middle overs will have been discussed.
The team have also set a standard for themselves in the field with how they performed in Perth and any dropping off of that standard will be disappointing.
Tomorrow’s match starts at 6am.
The South African squad:
Dane Van Niekerk (capt), Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Mignon Du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Trisha Chetty, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Nadine De Klerk, Nondumiso Shangase.@shockerhess