Revisiting: Top 5 knocks of Laura Wolvaardt

The right-handed opening batter Laura Wolvaardt from Milnerton Cape Town made her International debut in an ODI against England as a 17-year-old young prodigy. She has made a name for herself as one of the most reliable batters for South Africa at the top of the order, with her classical style of play. She was elevated to captaincy for the South African women’s team after former skipper Sune Luus stepped down from the position in November 2023.

Laura Wolvaardt's maiden T20I ton powers South Africa to 1-0 Series Lead against Sri Lanka

She has amassed 3948 runs at a strike rate of 71.05 and a brilliant average of 48.14 in 94 innings in the ODI format. Her tally of runs includes 31 half-centuries and seven centuries in the format so far. She also has an impressive record in the T20I format, scoring 1609 runs at a strike rate of 113.71 and an impressive average of 36.56 in 60 innings. Her tally of runs includes 11 half-centuries and a century so far.

Top five knocks of Laura Wolvaardt

124* (141 balls) Vs New Zealand, 28th September 2023. (2nd ODI, Pietermaritzburg)

The South African women’s team led by skipper Laura Wolvaardt were hosting New Zealand led by skipper Sophie Devine for a limited overs series that included a three-match ODI series followed by a five-match T20I series. South Africa clinched the 1st ODI by four wickets and 17 balls to spare.

The South African skipper Laura Wolvaardt won the toss and opted to field first in the 2nd ODI. After being inserted to bat first, New Zealand were bundled out for 253 with one ball to spare. New Zealand posted that total on the back of impressive performances from Amelia Kerr (88 off 110 balls), Maddy Green (43 off 50 balls), and Hannah Rowe (40 off 57 balls). Nonkululeko Mlaba (10-041-3), Nadine de Klerk (8.5-0-44-3), and Masabata Klaas (8-0-46-2) were the stars for South Africa with the ball.

Chasing a target of 254, skipper Laura Wolvaardt led from the front and notched up her 4th ODI hundred. She took her side to a series victory against New Zealand with a 7-wicket victory. She stayed unbeaten on 124 off 141 balls in the run chase, she also went on to term it as her favourite hundred.

90 (134 balls) Vs Australia, 22nd March 2022. (ICC Women’s ODI World Cup, Match 21, Wellington)

The South African women’s team led by skipper Sune Luus were all set to face Australia led by skipper Meg Lanning in Wellington in the 21st Match of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand. The Australian skipper Meg Lanning won the toss and opted to field first. After being inserted to bat first, South Africa posted a total of 271/5 in their quota of overs. Contributions from Laura Wolvaardt (90 off 134 balls), skipper Sune Luus (52 off 51 balls), Lizelle Lee (36 off 44 balls), and Marizanne Kapp (30 off 21 balls) played a crucial role in helping them get past the 270-run mark.

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However, South Africa eventually ended up on the losing side by five wickets and 28 balls to spare. The Australian skipper Meg Lanning was awarded the Player of the Match for her unbeaten century (135 off 130 balls), with the bat guiding her side over the line.

77 (101 balls) Vs England, 14th March 2022. (ICC Women’s ODI World Cup, Match 12, Mount Maunganui)

The South African women’s team led by skipper Sune Luus were all set to face England led by skipper Heather Knight at Mount Maunganui on 14th March 2022 in the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand. South African skipper Sune Luus won the toss and opted to field first. England posted a competitive total of 235/9 in their quota of overs on the back of twin half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont (62 off 97 balls) and wicket-keeper batter Amy Jones (53 off 74 balls).

Chasing a target of 236, South Africa got off to a poor start as they lost the wicket of Lizelle Lee in the 6th over of the run chase. However, the opening batter Laura Wolvaardt continued to chip away at the target by stitching crucial partnerships with Tazmin Brits and skipper Sune Luus before Kate Cross sent her back to the pavilion in the 36th over of the run chase. She completed her well deserved half-century (77 off 101 balls) before getting dismissed.

South Africa eventually managed to get over the line with three wickets in hand and four balls to spare in what eventually turned out to be a tricky run chase for South Africa. Marizanne Kapp was awarded the Player of the Match for her brilliant all-round performance, returning with sensational match figures (10-1-45-5) in her spell with the ball and scoring (32 off 42 balls) with the bat.

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184* (147 balls) Vs Sri Lanka, 17th April 2024. (3rd ODI, Potchefstroom)

The South African women’s team led by skipper Laura Wolvaardt were hosting the Sri Lankan women’s team led by skipper Chamari Athapaththu for a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series. The 1st ODI of the series was washed out courtesy of persistent rains. The home side, South Africa clinched the 2nd ODI comprehensively with 7 wickets and 14 balls to spare.

The Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and opted to field first in the 3rd ODI which was potentially a series-deciding encounter. After being inserted to bat first, the South African team posted a massive total of 301/5 on the board. The South African skipper Laura Wolvaardt notched up the highest individual score for South Africa and also her personal best score when she stayed unbeaten (184 off 147 balls), scoring at a strike rate of 125.17.

However, South Africa ended up on the losing side as they were hit by a Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu’s storm as she took their side over the line in a record run chase in Women’s ODIs by staying unbeaten on 195, scoring at a strike rate of 140.28. She was awarded the Player of the Match.

102 (63 balls) Vs Sri Lanka, 27th March 2024. (1st T20I, Benoni)

The South African women’s team led by skipper Laura Wolvaardt were hosting the Sri Lankan women’s team led by skipper Chamari Athapaththu for a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series. The Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and opted to field first. After being inserted to bat first, South Africa posted a massive total of 198/5 in their quota of overs on the back of the South African skipper Laura Wolvaardt’s maiden T20I century when she scored 102 runs at an impressive strike rate of 161.90.

South Africa eventually clinched the game by a comprehensive 79-run margin as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 119 with 10 balls to spare. Skipper Laura Wolvaardt was awarded the Player of the Match for her sensational performance with the bat (102 off 63 balls) to go 1-0 up in the T20I series.

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