Welcomed with a no ball Mignon du Preez finished the game with a boundary over covers. First victory in the first game for the Proteas. The 7 wicket win over Sri Lanka would have surely boosted their morale. Well technically it was the first match played by Sri Lanka because the match scheduled on 11th November against England was abandoned due to rain. The loss against South Africa has surely affected their placement on the points table, with 1 point garnered from the previous match and none from this.
Electing to ball, Proteas restricted Sri Lanka at 99-8 in 20 overs. The first two overs bowled by Kapp and Ismail respectively created the pressure on openers as the right length and line was maintained by them. As a result, Sri Lankan captain Athapathatu lost her wicket in the 3rd over to Kapp and Mendis in the 4th over to Ismail. With openers back in their huts it was now on the middle order batswomen to build an inning for the team but a careless shot by Perera (6) showed her the way back to pavilion. Siriwardene (21) supported her innings by hitting some big shots (2x4s & 1×6) and then got bowled as she missed the ball completely while trying to hit a big shot too. Wicketkeeper batsman Manodara (20) played a well cameo. A scoop, a sweep, short third man and short fine, 4 boundaries came out of her bat. She could’ve helped put more runs on the board but the tailenders on the other side couldn’t hold their wicket for long and as a result Sri Lankan team could only put 99 runs on the board at the end of 20 overs.
Ismail was the most successful bowler today as she took 3 wickets in 4 overs with an economy rate of 2.5. She first dismissed Mendis in the 4th over and then in the 20th over she sent Lokusuriyage and Sripali Weerakkody back to the pavilion and hence crashed the batting line up of Sri Lanka.
Athapathatu knew that it was very difficult to defend such a low total and hence she gave the ball to Prabodhani, the most experienced player on her side, who gave the team their first breakthrough in the very first over by taking the wicket of Wolvaardt. With Lee also losing her wicket in 2nd over the responsibility of leading the team to victory came on captain Dane van Niekerk and kapp’s shoulder. Boundaries came at regular intervals in their partnership of 67 runs. Kapp was the highest scorer on South African side with 38 runs in 44 balls which included four boundaries and one six. On the other hand Dane van Niekerk remained not out at 33 runs in 44 balls which included two boundaries. Mignon du Preez (16) finished the match alongside van Niekerk by hitting a boundary and hence clinching the victory from Sri Lanka with 9 balls to spare. Shashikala Siriwardene was the most economical bowler (economy rate 3) but could only take one wicket.
Dane van Niekerk : The girls started nice today especially the pacers, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. The way Kapp batted was amazing. The extras were shocking, sounds harsh but it’s true. We need to sharpen on that aspect as we give away close to 30 extras. we had simple game plans. I think, I went from hundred to zero. I struggled in the latter part of the innings.
Chamari Athapathatu : I think South Africa bowled well in the powerplay and took wickets early. That’s why we struggled. 100 was never going to be enough here. 120 would have been a dependable score. We took two wickets but then they had a good partnership and that took the game away from us.
Shabnim Ismail, player of the match – We watched the previous game and we saw a bit of seam and swing with the new ball, there were no doubts once we won the toss. We are two different bowlers (herself and kapp), on this wicket, it was important to bowl back of a length, if you pitched it fuller, it was easier to play. We discuss things during the break, but the important thing was for the batters to come out and finish things for us.
South Africa won by 7 wickets
Sri Lanka 99-8 in 20 overs ( Siriwardene 21 runs, Manodara 20 runs, Nilakshi de Silva 10 runs; S Ismail 3/10)
South Africa 102-3 in 18.3 overs (Kapp 38 runs, Dane van Niekerk 33 runs, Mignon du Preez 16 runs; Siriwardene 1/12)