CAPE TOWN - After a dismal warm-up campaign, heightened by late injury withdrawals, the Proteas Women would be relieved to open their World T20 campaign with a comfortable seven-wicket over Sri Lanka in St Lucia on Monday evening.
Preparation has certainly not gone smoothly for Dane van Niekerk’s team in the Caribbean with experienced wicket-keeper Trishy Chetty being ruled out of the tournament with a back injury on the eve of the opening match.
But such is the character of this side; they put it all behind them, including a top-order stutter, to chase down Sri Lanka’s 99/8 with nine balls remaining.
Although conditions are primed for spin bowling in the Caribbean, South Africa’s pace attack remains their primary weapon of attack. Spearhead Shabim Ismail, therefore, led the way again with a Man of the Match performance of 3/10 from her four overs. This set the tone for the rest of the bowling unit, who each picked up one scalp to restrict the Sri Lankans to a below-par total.
Only a late came from tailender Dilani Manodara (20 not out off 12 balls, 4x4) brought any respectability to Sri Lanka’s total of 99/8.
South Africa’s changeroom would have been a bundle of nerves, though, when both openers Lizelle Lee (1) and Laura Wolvaardt (4) were dismissed within the first seven balls of the run-chase.
Shabnim Ismail set the table for the Proteas with a devastating spell than ensured her teammates would chase a double digit score and for that reason, she is today's Player of the Match 👏 #WT20 #SLvSA pic.twitter.com/5V3w3Fn1pG— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 13, 2018
However, the promotion of opening bowler Marizanne Kapp to No 3 had the desired effect. Kapp (38 off 44 balls), joined by her skipper Van Niekerk (33 not out off 45 balls), added 67 runs for the third wicket which eased the Proteas closer to the target.
And although Kapp was dismissed shortly before the end, Mignon du Preez (16 not out) was calm enough to ensure the Proteas’ World T20 campaign was up and running.@ZaahierAdams
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