SA women surrender to India’s pace, spin
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