Home Sport Cricket Stylish Proteas opener on top of the world

Stylish Proteas opener on top of the world

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South Africa’s premier batter Laura Wolvaardt. Picture: Marty Melville, AFP

Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt has made five half-centuries from seven innings at the ICC Women’s World Cup, with her top score of 90 coming against favourites Australia.

Cape Town – Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt has backed up her tremendous ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to date by claiming the mantle as the top ranked ODI batter in the world.

Fast bowler Shabnim Ismail has also moved up to third on the bowling rankings.

Wolvaardt has scored more runs (433) at the World Cup than any other player and her excellent form in New Zealand has been noticed as she moved up two places and overtook two Australians in the process to claim the top ranking on the latest ODI Player Rankings.

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The stylish South African has made five half-centuries from seven innings at the 50-over showcase, with her top score of 90 coming against tournament favourites Australia in Wellington last week.

Injured Proteas captain Dané van Niekerk tweeted “No surprises here. #due” in response to Wolvaardt’s elevation.

It means Alyssa Healy loses her top ranking, with the Australia wicket-keeper dropping four places to now be rated fifth in the Women ODI rankings.

Teammate Beth Mooney remains in second place on the rankings, with Australia captain Meg Lanning (third) and England veteran Nat Sciver (fourth) rounding out the remainder of the top five batters on the latest rankings.

Mithali Raj’s fifty against South Africa helped her make a three-place jump to No.6. However, the match ended in heartbreak for the Indian skipper as her team crashed out of the World Cup in a last-ball thriller.

While there is plenty of movement in the latest batter rankings, the same cannot be said for the bowling or all-rounder rankings.

England spinner Sophie Ecclestone – who is the leading wicket taker at the World Cup with 14 scalps – remains the highest ranked bowler, while Australia’s Jess Jonassen is second.

The in-form Ismail, who is second on the tournament wicket-takers list with 11, moves up one spot to take third in the rankings from Australia veteran Megan Schutt, while India pacer Jhulan Goswami rockets up two places to fifth.

It’s status quo in the all-rounder ranks, with Australia veteran Ellyse Perry remaining at the top of the rankings and the top eight players all staying in their current spots.

Proteas match-winner Marizanne Kapp is in third place below Perry and England’s Nat Sciver.

Her teammate Katherine Brunt moves up two places to ninth, while Goswami loses once spot to drop to 10th.

Pakistan all-rounder Nida Dar – fresh from 118 runs and 10 wickets at the World Cup – moves up four places to 12th, while Bangladesh veteran Salma Khatun is up seven spots to 19th.

@ZaahierAdams

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