Proteas’ Big Five must de­liver

Cape Argus - - THE RACEGOER - The cap­tain is one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced and tal­ented T20 play­ers in

THE WOMEN’S World T20 starts in Guyana tonight with a match be­tween In­dia and New Zealand. Dane van Niek­erk’s South Africa side be­gin their chal­lenge on Tues­day morn­ing (SA time) against Sri Lanka.

STU­ART HESS looks at the five key play­ers who have to be in top form if the Proteas are to make a deep run at the tour­na­ment.

LIZELLE LEE

One of the most de­struc­tive hit­ters in the game, Lee will be one of the most watched play­ers at the tour­na­ment. She can hit a ball fur­ther than most men, although she states she’d rather time the ball well than hit with power. Which ever way she does it, her team­mates don’t care as long as she gets on top of the op­pos­ing at­tack early be­cause they know they are then in with a chance of win­ning. She recog­nised that per­haps she erred to much on the side of sub­tlety on the tour of the West Indies two months ago and is back to util­is­ing her mantra “see ball, hit ball” to pro­pel the Proteas to quick starts.

DANE VAN NIEK­ERK

the game. Van Niek­erk can bat any­where in the or­der and mixes cre­ative stroke play with prodi­gious big hit­ting. Her leg-spin, on what many ex­pect to be slow and low tracks for the com­pe­ti­tion, is cru­cial. She is a gen­uine big-game player and will thrive in the hotly con­tested en­vi­rons of tour­na­ment play. Un­der her lead­er­ship the South African side have de­vel­oped a tougher at­ti­tude, but they now need to ally that with bet­ter per­for­mances, par­tic­u­larly with the bat. Van Niek­erk has grown ever more ir­ri­tated ex­plain­ing her team’s in­con­sis­tency in that cat­e­gory, she does not want to be re­peat­ing her­self in two weeks’ time.

MARIZANNE KAPP

One of the pre­mier all-rounders in the game, and like Lee and Van Niek­erk, a player who’s gained vast ex­pe­ri­ence thanks to play­ing – very suc­cess­fully – in the T20 leagues in the UK and Aus­tralia. Kapp is a nag­gingly ac­cu­rate new-ball bowler who has rea­son­able pace and can swing the ball away from the right-han­der. But she more of­ten than not tar­gets the stumps, mak­ing her a deadly op­er­a­tor who can shut down the op­po­si­tion in the pow­er­plays. A su­perb ath­lete, she pa­trols the bound­ary as well as any­one in the game and has a strong, ac­cu­rate throw­ing arm. She prob­a­bly has more to of­fer with the bat but is of­ten com­ing in late and need­ing to pro­pel the ball to the bound­ary, which she’s more than ca­pa­ble of do­ing.

CHLOE TRYON

Af­fec­tion­ately know as “Baby G” (Baby Giant), Tryon is an­other pow­er­ful hit­ter ca­pa­ble of smash­ing a cricket ball many a mile. She stands apart from many other play­ers in that she doesn’t need long to ad­just to con­di­tions and get her eye in, mak­ing her an ex­pert fin­isher. If she is given time, she can re­ally hurt an op­pos­ing bowl­ing at­tack with her favourite ar­eas be­ing the re­gion be­tween mid­wicket and long-on. She bowls use­ful right-arm medium pace and slots into the cat­e­gory of “golden arm” for her abil­ity to claim big wick­ets at key mo­ments. It’s with the bat that she’ll win games for South Africa, how­ever, and she’ll be re­spon­si­ble for mar­shalling the tail when sit­u­a­tions de­mand.

SUNE LUUS

Holder of the best fig­ures for a South African bowler in the T20 for­mat – she claimed 5/8 against Ire­land at the 2016 World T20 – Luus has been given a big­ger role in the side in re­cent years with the bat. Her leg-spin may not be con­sis­tent but she gets wick­ets, es­pe­cially with op­pos­ing bat­ters try­ing to at­tack her. With the bat, she’s been moved up the or­der and given a bit of li­cence re­cently to at­tack. Not a big hit­ter in the mould of a Lee or Tryon, Luus re­lies on hit­ting the ball into gaps and she is very quick be­tween the wick­ets – an im­por­tant el­e­ment even as the women’s game is be­com­ing known for the big hit­ters.

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