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The Meg Lanning show delivers Proteas cold dose of reality at Women’s World Cup

Proteas fielder Mignon Du Preez takes a great catch to dismiss Australia’s Rachael Haynes during their ICC Women's World Cup match. Picture: EPA

Proteas fielder Mignon Du Preez takes a great catch to dismiss Australia’s Rachael Haynes during their ICC Women's World Cup match. Picture: EPA

Published Mar 22, 2022

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Cape Town - Australia delivered a cold dose of reality to South Africa with a crushing five-wicket victory in their Women's World Cup clash at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Tuesday.

Both teams had been unbeaten prior to the toss but Australia were simply in a different class to the Proteas.

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Australia captain Meg Lanning illustrated this best with a commanding 135 not out off just 130 balls (15x4, 1x6) that broke the back of the run chase.

South Africa were certainly their own worst enemies by dropping four catches during Australia's innings - two by Lizelle Lee of Shabnim Ismail's bowling.

This infuriated the Proteas fast bowler for she had bowled her heart out in defence of South Africa's 272/5.

Ismail claimed the early wicket of Australian opener Alyssa Healy and then returned for a fiery second spell that accounted for Tahlia McGrath, but she did not have the support of her fielders and fellow bowling partners.

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Australia certainly capitalised on South Africa's lack of a genuine spinner as they feasted on fourth seamer Tumi Sekhukhune (0/68 from seven overs), who had come into the team for the injured Masabata Klaas.

The Aussie skipper had support from Beth Mooney (21), Tahlia McGrath (32) and Ashleigh Gardner (22) during the run chase, but ultimately it was "the Lanning show".

It certainly was a copybook for the South African to learn from in terms of how to pace an innings.

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Laura Wolvaardt was again the Proteas Women’s shining light with the bat. Picture: EPA

Laura Wolvaardt, in particular, would have taken notes after falling short a maiden World Cup century yet again.

She struck a composed 90 but it came off 134 balls at a strike rate of 67.16 in comparison to Lanning's 103.84.

Proteas captain Sune Luus attempted to lift the run-rate with a sparkling 52 off 51 balls and Marizanne Kapp (30 not out) and Chloe Tryon (17 not out) brought some late innings impetus, but it was not nearly enough against a quality side like Australia.

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