The Proteas have issued a major statement of intent at the Women’s World Cup with a thrilling three-wicket victory over defending champions England at Mount Maunganui on Monday.
Cape Town – The Proteas have issued a major statement of intent at the Women’s World Cup with a thrilling three-wicket victory over defending champions England at Mount Maunganui on Monday.
Sune Luus’ side chased down their highest total in World Cup history when they overhauled England’s 235/9 with four balls remaining.
Trisha Chetty was the batter that sent her teammates and the country back home into raptures when she swiped Nat Sciver through mid-wicket for the winning boundary in the last over, but she was only one of the heroines for the Proteas on this sparkling night in Tauranga.
The most influential was, of course, though veteran all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, who claimed her maiden ODI five-for before taking the Proteas to the brink of victory with a crucial 32 off 34 balls.
Although she was trapped LBW with 10 runs still required off 10 balls, this glorious win will always be remembered as “Kappy’s night”.
South Africa’s chase had begun in nervous fashion from the start, after Lizelle Lee departed early courtesy of a beautiful in-swinger from Ana Shrubsole.
It was just reward for the 2017 Lord’s World Cup final hero for Shrubsole had Laura Wolvaardt dropped in the second over already when Tammy Beaumont grassed a straightforward chance at point.
England’s fielding woes at this World Cup certainly followed them throughout this innings with Wolvaardt (77) the fortuitous benefactor of four missed chances during her innings.
Wolvaardt was dropped on 4, 23, 62 while Amy Jones also missed a regulation stumping when the opener had just passed 50.
The stylish right-hander wasn’t able to fully capitalise by converting her good fortune into a three-figure score, but she was able to set the platform through partnerships of 56 and 73 with Tamzin Brits (23) and captain Sune Luus (36).
This was sufficient for Kapp and rest of the middle-order including Chloe Tryon (15) and Trisha Chetty (11 not out) to take South Africa over the line.
Earlier, England had let a position of real strength slip through their grasp when they slumped from 149/3 in the 34th over to 235/9.
The departure of their two set batters Beaumont and Amy Jones within a couple of overs of each other set in motion the collapse.
This was primarily due to Kapp utilising all her experience and knowledge of the conditions. The veteran seamer utilised her slower ball and cutters to good effect to collect three wickets at the death that resulted in England losing their way.
In the absence of star opening bowler Shabnim Ismail, who left the field halfway through with a toe injury, Kapp was ably supported by Masabata Klaas.
The 31-year-old took on the responsibility of stepping into Ismail’s shoes with a superb spell of 8-1-23-2.
The Proteas’ victory has left a massive impact on the World Cup table as they now join Australia on top of the log as the only two remaining unbeaten teams, while England are left in serious danger of not qualifying for the knockout stages after three consecutive defeats.
Scores in brief:
England 235/9 (Beaumont 62, Jones 53, Kapp 5/45, Klaas 2/23)
South Africa 236/7 (Wolvaardt 77, Luus 36, Kapp 32, Shrubsole 2/34