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Laura liking her new spot in the Proteas batting order

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The classy right-hander did not come to the crease in her usual top-order position, but at No 5 instead

LAURA Wolfvaardt is embracing fresh challenges as the Proteas continue to fine-tune their preparations for the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup.

Wolfvaardt played a crucial innings on Sunday to help the Proteas Women’s team defeat Sri Lanka by 41 runs in a warm-up game in Adelaide on Sunday.

The classy right-hander did not come to the crease in her usual top-order position, but at No 5 instead.

The shift in the batting order is certainly something new with the Proteas management loading the line-up with some more free-scoring players at the top. Lizelle Lee opened the batting with captain Dané van Niekerk with all-rounder Marizanne Kapp coming at No 3 followed by Mignon du Preez.

It is hoped that this strategy will allow the Proteas to capitalize on the Powerplay’s fielding restrictions with greater effect.

It was always believed that while Wolfvaardt is technically correct, she does not have the power game for the aerial route.

However, what it does mean is that South Africa now have a quality batsman in the middle-order should they suffer a collapse – like they did in Adelaide when they were reduced to 4/2 and then 54/3 before Wolvaardt came to the crease.

Equally, classy batsmen have always found a way to be successful regardless of the format and Wolfvaardt showed that again on Sunday with an all-important 38 not out off just 24 balls (5×4, 1×6). Her ability to understand her new role also paid dividends which helped South Africa to post a competitive 146/5 in their allotted 20 overs.

“It was my first time batting at No 5. We are trying a few different options. I think it was the start we wanted to our campaign here in Australia. We had a good feeling about the conditions. Happy with the intent we showed with bat and that we came out on top,” Wolfvaardt said.

“We’re happy to see that even when we’ve lost wickets upfront and we kinda lost momentum, it was good to see that we still got up towards our target.

“I am batting with a lot of senior players. I was batting with Marizanne Kapp and I just had to get her on strike. She made things really easy for me. It’s the same with Chloe (Tryon) because she can hit a very long ball and out on the park.”

The Proteas have one further warm-up game against world champions Australia today before their tournament opener on Sunday against England in Perth.