CAPE TOWN – For a batter that became a bowler, Marizanne Kapp has not done too badly for herself. In fact, she has performed excellently over the past decade for the Proteas women’s team and richly deserved her 100th ODI wicket in the victory over the West Indies in the first ICC Women’s Championship match at Kensington Oval on Sunday.
“It is obviously a big milestone for a bowler. It is quite strange now that I actually started as a batting all-rounder, and now I am more a bowling all-rounder. It has been a long and tough journey. Women’s cricket was nowhere on the map when I started and look where we are now,” Kapp said from Barbados.
“There a few more that are closer than we think. It is good to see the South African girls reaching these milestones now, because you have always seen players from the ‘bigger’ nations reach them in the past. It is an awesome feeling and hopefully this is just the beginning.”
At 28-years-old, and filled with the experience of 94 ODIs and 62 T20Is, Kapp is undoubtedly the spearhead of the Proteas attack. It is a role she relishes, but her importance to the team’s aspirations in the West Indies has been quadrupled with the absence of both Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka. The seam-bowling trio have formed a potent force over the years, but Khaka is not in the Caribbean due to injury, while Ismail is tending to her ill father.
In the past this may have had a debilitating effect on the Proteas, but such is the growing strength in depth that the home team were dismissed for just 160 on a less than responsive surface. Kapp was, of course, the catalyst with 3/14 but she was well supported by 19-year-old debutant Tumi Sekhukhune (2/28), Zintle Mali (2/11) and Masabata Klaas (1/25).
“We had a couple of changes coming into this tour, so you are always a bit nervous because we have a few youngsters over here. These wickets are also really low and slow, and then the heat factor too. I think Klaasey (Klaas) stepped up brilliantly. I think that was one of the best spells I have seen her bowl,” Kapp said.
“So, that just shows that there is depth in our squad, and if given more opportunities they will shine, so that is really good to see. I can’t wait for the other two to get back, and if we all fire together, nobody will be able to play us.”
The Proteas are now primed to claim their first series victory in the Caribbean should they win the second ODI at the same venue today and Kapp is hoping they can finish off the job.
“We have by no means played the perfect ODI but we still came out on top, so that’s a good thing and hopefully we can correct our mistakes and end up on the winning side again,” she said.