Marizanne Kapp reflects on Thrilling ODI Loss to India, Focus on the ODI World Cup

The Proteas are currently touring India for a multi-format series. In the 2nd ODI, chasing a formidable total of 321 runs, despite outstanding contributions from skipper Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 135 and veteran Marizanne Kapp’s 114, South Africa fell short by a mere 4 runs. Despite the defeat, Marizanne Kapp focuses on the learnings and lessons from the game, keeping in mind the upcoming ODI World Cup in India next year.

Marizanne Kapp reflects on Thrilling ODI Loss to India, Focus on the ODI World Cup
Marizanne Kapp reflects on Thrilling ODI Loss to India, Focus on the ODI World Cup

The match was filled with sheer thrill, with four centuries scored for the first time in a WODI match. India posted their highest total on home soil of 325 runs, with centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur. South Africa’s chase went down to the last over, where they narrowly lost by 4 runs. Despite the loss, Kapp described this as a massive confidence booster for South Africa. She scored 114 runs off 94 balls before getting dismissed and was one of the four centurions in the second ODI in Bengaluru. She said this was the brand of cricket they wanted to play, looking ahead to next year’s 50-over World Cup in India.

At the 19th over, South Africa were 67 for 3. Even in the series opener, they had a collapse upfront, where from 33 for 3, they were eventually bowled out for 122. But unlike Sunday, South Africa fought back hard in the second game and built a significant partnership of 184 runs. Everything boiled down to the last over bowled by Pooja Vastrakar, who defended 11 runs and they lost two wickets in that over and lost by 4 runs.

Reflecting on the match, Marizanne Kapp highlighted the numerous positives for her team despite the close loss. She acknowledged that getting so close to the target was a massive confidence booster, especially looking ahead. Kapp noted that after hitting a four in the last over, it felt like their game to lose, indicating there were strategic decisions that could have been improved, such as getting Laura Wolvaardt on strike more often. She emphasized that while there are lessons to be learned and adjustments to be made, the team’s ability to nearly chase down the total after a slow start was encouraging. This performance provides a lot of positives as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup next year.

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Kapp said, “To come that close, after starting a little bit slower today, we have a lot of positives to take forward, given that we have a World Cup next year.”

Marizanne Kapp discussed the team’s intent and approach to batting, noting that it has been a significant topic of discussion. She mentioned a meeting with the batting coach after their first ODI, where the coach emphasized the importance of scoring aggressively. He stated that scoring 100 runs in 20 overs, even if it meant getting bowled out, would have been preferable to the cautious 122 runs off 37 overs they managed. Kapp expressed satisfaction with their performance in the latest match, highlighting that they managed to score more freely and came close to reaching the target, aligning better with their desired style of play.

She asserted, “It’s (the intent) something we’ve been speaking about.”

During the chase, Wolvaardt crossed 4000 ODI runs and became the highest run-getter for South Africa in 50-over cricket, and the youngest (25y 54d) at the global level. Kapp also touched the 3000-run mark to be fourth on the list and third with the duo of 3000 runs and 150 ODI wickets. Kapp, who played as a specialist batter in these two matches because of workload management, has visibly upped her batting in the last 12 months. Since 2023, she has smashed two centuries and four half-centuries in 15 innings to average 68.20 in this format. She registered her third ODI century and became the first-ever woman to score an ODI century when batting 5th or lower. Coming in at 67 for 3 when the team needed a big partnership, she thrived under pressure and shared 184 runs off 170 balls with Wolvaardt to take South Africa closer to the huge target.

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Marizanne Kapp elaborated on the dynamic between her and Laura Wolvaardt (“Wolfie”) when they bat together. She pointed out that they have often found themselves batting in partnership, and their differing approaches complement each other well. Kapp mentioned that her batting style, especially in recent years, has naturally leaned towards a high strike rate, close to 100. She has discovered that adopting a positive, aggressive approach generally leads to her scoring more runs. In contrast, Wolvaardt prefers to take her time to settle in before attacking the bowlers. This complementary dynamic between Kapp’s aggression and Wolvaardt’s steady build-up works seamlessly without the need for extensive communication between them.

“We don’t even have to speak about it. It naturally worked out that way that I am going to be the aggressor, and she (Laura Wolvaardt) takes her time,” said Marizanne.

Marizanne Kapp emphasized her love for cricket and how she thrives in high-pressure situations. She believes that she often performs well under such circumstances and takes pride in that ability. Kapp and Laura Wolvaardt (Wolfie) enjoy batting together and their partnership flourishes, especially in challenging moments. Although fatigue can be frustrating, they both understand and appreciate the team aspect of the game. Kapp feels that games like the one they played, with their intense situations, bring out the best in both herself and Wolvaardt, highlighting their strong partnership and mutual understanding on the field.

Kapp concluded, “It’s a team sport, and the two of us enjoy batting together. I feel like games like this, situations like this probably bring out the best in myself and Wolfie.”

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