Van Niekerk, Kapp help Proteas demolish Windies

Dane van Niekerk (Gallo)
Dane van Niekerk (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk and number one One-Day International (ODI) bowler in the world, Marizanne Kapp took eight wickets between them, securing a comprehensive, 10-wicket drubbing over the West Indies at Grace Road in Leicester on Sunday.

Van Niekerk became the first South African bowler, male or female to take four wickets without conceding a single run, while Kapp returned career-best figures of 4/14, with three of those wickets falling in one over.

It was South Africa who won the toss and elected to field first, a wise decision in the end by the skipper that had the Windies bundled out for just 48 in 25.2 overs.

The fireworks were lit by pace bowler Shabnim Ismail (2/16), who got the wickets of Hayley Matthews and Windies captain, Stefanie Taylor for four each. Kapp then followed up with three wickets in just five balls, seeing the opposition slump to 16/5 after 7.5 overs. Van Niekerk joined the party, claiming the wickets of Marissa Aguilleira (3), Shanel Daley (0) and leading run scorer, Chedean Nation (26 off 53) before Kapp returned for her fourth victim, Afy Fletcher (0). The South African skipper ended the innings with the final wicket of Qiana Joseph (0) with 24.4 overs to spare.

The batting reply was equally as clinical. Lizelle Lee smashed six boundaries, returning unbeaten for 29 off 16 deliveries, while her opening partner, 18-year-old Laura Wolvaardt hit three boundaries (including the winning runs) for her 19 off 22 to give the Proteas an easy win in the end.

The victory came with  262 deliveries to spare, the largest remaining ball margin in World Cup history.

Van Niekerk is delighted with her team’s performance and hopes that they can continue in the same vein as the competition heats up.

“If I could script it, I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” she said. “We had our plans coming into the game and it worked to the T. I’m really proud of the bowlers, especially my two opening bowlers – world class.

“They (West Indies) are a very talented team and they are very destructive, we know what they can do. I just said to the team to stick to the plan, bowlers, bowl their lines and lengths, we know that dot balls create wickets and yeah, it was a world class performance by them.”

On her record-breaking statistic, she commented sheepishly; “The ball was not coming off great, I can’t tell you what happened there today. I’d be lying if I said I bowled to a plan, all I was saying to myself was ‘don’t bowl a full-toss’ and I think they (West Indies) just missed the balls.”

The team surprised a lot of people by holding a training session directly after the match. Van Niekerk was pleased that her players were the ones to approach the coaching staff and ask for it.

“The girls asked to top up on some of the areas they felt they fell short in,” she explained. “We know that it’s still going to be a tough tournament and we don’t want to be complacent at all. The most important thing is to stay on top of our game and we know that it’s not going to be like this in every match. We spoke about this before we went out to bat that we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, we still have to face some tough competition, including Sri Lanka who are looking good at the moment.

“We don’t want to underestimate anyone. We came here to win a World Cup and that’s what we’re going to work on doing.”

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England 204 & 15/0 (10 ov)
West Indies 318
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