De Ridder upbeat following India ODI series

Ayabonga Khaka of South Africa built a good platform for her fellow bowlers in the ODIs against India. | BackpagePix

Ayabonga Khaka of South Africa built a good platform for her fellow bowlers in the ODIs against India. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 25, 2024


Ongama Gcwabe

South Africa lost the One Day International series 3-0 and along with it missed out on crucial ICC Women’s Championship points. However, there were positives to take away from the series.

Throughout the series, opening bowlers Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas and Tumi Sekhukhune (in the third ODI) dominated and put pressure on India women’s top-order batters. The quicks consistently took wickets with the new ball up front and set a solid foundation for spinners Nonkululeko Mlaba and Nondumiso Shangase to take the game away from the hosts.

On the batting front, despite being bowled out for 122 in the first match, the side brought up one 300-plus total and fell five runs short from completing a world record chase of 326 in the second match.

Proteas women’s captain Laura Wolvaardt tallied 200 runs during the series, including one century and a fifty in the last ODI at Bangalore. Wolvaardt finished the series as the second-leading run-scorer behind India’s Smriti Mandhana. Senior player Marizanne Kapp scored 145 runs in the series, including a sparkling 114 in the second match as she finished fourth on the top run scorers’ list.

“I think some of the major positives are the powerplays. We bowled really well in the powerplays,” Meike de Ridder, Proteas women’s wicketkeeper said after the series whitewash.

“Also some good partnerships in the batting. Some senior players stepping up there in Wolvaardt and Kapp. That’s the biggest positives from the series. We came knowing that we want to get the two points for the (2025 ODI) World Cup build-up. It just did not go our way.”

Wolvaardt has always been the backbone of the Proteas women’s batting unit since she walked out to bat alongside former Proteas opening batter Lizelle Lee at the age of 16. However, since being appointed captain during the tour to Pakistan last summer, the 25-year-old has taken her batting to the next level as she often leads from the front with bat in hand.

De Ridder and the entire women’s team believe the responsibility and pressure of captaining the team has only elevated Wolvaardt’s game.

“The captaincy just made her batting performances so much better,” said De Ridder.

“She’s thriving in the environment and she’s really stepping up as a captain in the batting department. Before she was also brilliant but now she has stepped it up even more.”

The Proteas return to action on Friday when they switch to the longer format of the game in the Four-day once off Test match in Chennai.

Despite losing the ODI series, De Ridder believes the team has gotten the necessary preparation for the Test during the One-Day Series.

“It’s a format we don’t get to play often but we’ll definitely take all the positives,” she said.

“We’ve had some really good sessions, batting performances individually and as a team we just need to keep on reminding ourselves of that and channel that for the next games.”