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Wolvaardt is learning

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Proteas Women’s stand-in captain Suné Luus is hoping Laura Wolvaardt can replicate her good ODI form in the upcoming five-match T20 series against Pakistan.

GROWING IN STATURE: Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa bats during a recent ODI match against Pakistan.

Proteas Women’s stand-in captain Suné Luus is hoping Laura Wolvaardt can replicate her good ODI form in the upcoming five-match T20 series against Pakistan.

Wolvaardt topped the run-scoring charts in the three-match ODI series with 134 runs at an impressive average of 67. Although the shortest format is not a natural fit with Wolvaardt, who relies on elegant stroke-making instead of bashing the ball to the boundary, Luus believed there was enough evidence over the course of the ODI’s that the teenager’s game was developing.

Although not yet quite in the range of the powerful Lizelle Lee, there was at least an improvement from her overall career strike-rate of 63.57 to just below 70. Equally, the best players in the game have shown that a solid technique is the basis for success across all formats.

“We can look forward to the T20 series. I think we are a great T20 side. We have the day off and if you want to sulk, you can sulk, and then get it over with before we get ready for the T20 series,” Luus said after the third ODI was tied in Benoni.

“I think the way Laura has been an anchor in the last few games has been great for us. It is something we have lacked. With the form she is in, hopefully she gets a few chances in the T20s where she can show us what she can do.”

The Proteas will certainly want to improve on their recent T20I record after failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the ICC World T20 in the Caribbean last year. The major downfall was, of course, the heavy reliance on injured skipper Dané van Niekerk’s batting.

However, there was significant progress made over the past three ODIs with Van Niekerk still on the sidelines.

“We’re pretty happy with how the batters went in this series. If you look back at last season, against the West Indies, all our losses were blamed on the batsmen that didn’t perform and didn’t score the runs. So, now to see everyone chipping in and getting those 50s and big 50s is a major positive we can take from the series,” Luus said.

“Lizelle is always in the market for a 100, and obviously (Wolvaardt) as well. Everybody chipped, including Chloe (Tryon) hitting those big sixes at the end.”

The first T20I will be played at Tuks High Performance Centre in Pretoria tomorrow before the series moves on to Pietermaritzburg.