Cape Town - The Proteas Women got their 2018 ICC World T20 campaign off to a winning start when they beat Sri Lanka by an emphatic seven wickets at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Tuesday (SA time).
Chimara Atapattu and her charges were restricted to 99/8 at the end of their allotted overs after South Africa won the toss and elected to field first. Shashikala Siriwardene (21) and wicket-keeper Dilani Surangika (20) were the only batters to reach 20 runs or more.
Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the bowlers, returning outstanding figures of 3/10 at the end of her four-over spell. She and Marizanne Kapp (1/13) performed an opening bowling master class as they took a combined four wickets for 23 runs, bowling 37 dot balls while they were at it in their eight overs.
The rest of the attack returned a scalp each, captain Dané van Niekerk the most economical with her 1/7 in three. The bowlers will be disappointed by the 24 runs in extras conceded as they look to make quick improvements ahead of their next match against defending champions and hosts, West Indies on Wednesday.
Special mention must be made of Van Niekerk and Kapp who also took their respective 50th T20 international wickets on the day.
South Africa’s batting reply got off to a troubled start when they lost openers Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee within two balls of one another. Wolvaardt was clean bowled by Udeshika Prabodhani for four off the last ball of the first over, only to be followed by Lee who nicked off to the keeper off Sripali Weerakkody at the top of the second over.
Kapp was promoted up the batting order to number three and along with Van Niekerk, shared a match-winning 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket which steered their side towards victory. Kapp was eventually trapped lbw for 38 by Siriwardene (1/12), while the captain ploughed on, this time with Mignon du Preez (16*) by her side, adding 29 runs together to reach their target with nine balls to spare.
South Africa have just one day to prepare for their clash against West Indies. They will play the hosts at the same venue this Thursday. The match will be live on SuperSport 2 at 02:00 (SA time).
Scores in brief:
Sri Lanka 99/8 from 20 overs (Ismail 3/10, Kapp 1/13, Klaas 1/23, Daniels 1/12, Van Niekerk 1/8, Sekhukhune 1/29)
SA 102/3 from 18.3 overs (Kapp 38, Van Niekerk 33*, Du Preez 16*)
SA won by 7 wickets