SA women sur­ren­der to In­dia’s pace, spin

The Star Late Edition - - SPORT -

team. Du Preez’s taken to her new role of se­nior pro ex­cel­lently, while the return of Tr­ish Chetty and Shab­nim Is­mael, fol­low­ing their sus­pen­sion for break­ing the team’s dis­ci­plinary code – lends class in cru­cial ar­eas of the team.

There’s a lot that still needs to be im­proved – Moreeng and Van Niek­erk will beat the drum of “con­sis­tency with the bat” un­til they’re blue in the face – but there’s no doubt there’s a lot to look for­ward to with the SA women’s team. THE SOUTH African Women’s team lost their first match of the World Cup qual­i­fier tour­na­ment in Sri Lanka, suc­cumb­ing to the other favoured team in the event, In­dia, in the open­ing round of the Su­per Six phase yes­ter­day.

South Africa lost by 49 runs as they failed to come to terms with Shikha Pandey’s pace and Ekta Bisht’s left-arm spin.

That duo shared seven wick­ets as South Africa strug­gled to 156 all out af­ter In­dia posted 205/8 in their 50 overs.

Dane van Niek­erk chose to field af­ter win­ning the toss and her side im­me­di­ately had the In­di­ans un­der pres­sure thanks to new-ball pair Marizanne Kapp and Shab­nim Is­mael. Although that duo failed to take a wicket in their open­ing spells, the pres­sure they cre­ated brought re­ward for Ayabonga Khaka who dis­missed In­dian opener Deepti Sharma in the 12th over.

In what turned into a match-win­ning part­ner­ship, In­dian skip­per Mithali Raj and opener Mona Mishram shared a stand of 96 for the sec­ond wicket at a rea­son­able scor­ing rate of 4.5 an over.

Van Niek­erk made the cru­cial break­through pick­ing up Mishram for 55 (85b, 5x4, 2x6) in the 33rd over. South Africa had a mea­sure of con­trol there­after with Khaka re­turn­ing to dis­miss Raj for 64 (85b, 10x4), the high­est score in the match.

Kapp and Is­mael brushed through the In­dian mid­dle or­der and a cou­ple of run outs to­wards the close of the in­nings meant In­dia didn’t post any­thing sub­stan­tial, though it was al­ways go­ing to be a chal­lenge for the South Africans, given In­dia’s good group of spin­ners. Kapp was South Africa’s best bowler claim­ing 2/23 from 10 overs, while Khaka’s good form re­cently con­tin­ued as she picked up 2/44.

South Africa’s re­ply started hor­ri­bly with the big-hit­ting Lizelle Lee dis­missed in the sec­ond over for just one and Laura Wolvaardt fall­ing for a duck in the fifth over.

For­mer skip­per Mignon du Preez tried to con­sol­i­date, shar­ing in a 38-run stand with Tr­ish Chetty, but the pair used up too many overs, 14 – al­low­ing the In­di­ans to as­sume con­trol.

Af­ter Du Preez was dis­missed for 15, Chetty and Kapp added 52 for the fourth wicket and lifted the scor­ing rate. How­ever, once Kapp was dis­missed by Poonam Ya­dav, South Africa strug­gled to build another part­ner­ship and wick­ets fell at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

Chetty’s 52 (81b 4x4) was the best score from the South Africans, and, while four oth­ers got into dou­ble fig­ures, none of the bat­ters could con­trib­ute any­thing of sig­nif­i­cance.

Pandey claimed 4/34 in 9.4 overs, while Bisht fin­ished with 3/22 in her al­lot­ment of 10 overs.

There were also wins yes­ter­day for Bangladesh over Ire­land, while Sri Lanka beat Pak­istan.

South Africa play host na­tion Sri Lanka to­mor­row.

The top four teams will qual­ify for the Women’s World Cup in Eng­land in June. – Cricket Re­porter

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