Home Sport Cricket Laura’s T20 semi-final trauma still lingers

Laura’s T20 semi-final trauma still lingers

Laura Wolvaardt. Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Newly-crowned South Africa Women’s Cricketer of the Year, Laura Wolvaardt, admits that she has still not watched a replay of the agonisingly close T20 World Cup semi-final loss to eventual champions Australia.

The Proteas Women’s team fell short by just five runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method at the SCG in March, with Wolvaardt left stranded on 41 not out off just 27 balls.

It was an epic innings, but ultimately not enough to push South Africa over the line.

It was also the last match the Proteas Women’s team played before Covid-19 brought a screeching halt to all international cricket, forcing the cancellation of two series, against Australia and West Indies.

Despite having all this extra time on her hands Wolvaardt has refused to watch the semi-final again, but that does not mean the game has left her thoughts.

“I have had many sleepless nights about that game. I think the fact that it was the last game before lockdown actually didn’t help me because we came so close.

“I was like one or two shots away from winning the game for my team.

“I have definitely replayed it in my head in terms of what I could have done better. But I have not watched it on TV again because I’ve watched it enough in my head,” said Wolvaardt, who was also named ODI Cricketer of the Year.

The stylish right-hander performed an unfamiliar middle-order role in the T20 World Cup.

Wolvaardt has always opened the batting for the Proteas across formats, but moved down to No 5 shortly before the global jamboree.

It proved to be a “magic idea from the selectors” with Wolvaardt also striking a fabulous undefeated 53 off only 36 balls in a crucial group game against Pakistan.

These brilliant performances saw the 21-year-old chosen for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Team of the Tournament.

“I definitely didn’t see this coming at the start of the season, particularly the new role at number five in the T20s,” Wolvaardt said.

“Moving to number five is not something I could have predicted. The selectors kind of had a magic idea moving me. It was not something I thought about at all.

“The tour before to New Zealand I struggled in the Powerplay. The move down the order therefore allowed me to play with a bit more freedom when the field was spread.

“I have been batting at number three in provincial cricket, too. I am glad that we could do well at the World Cup. That was really incredible.”

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