The Momentum Proteas broke their 15-year dry spell in England when they beat the hosts at home for the first time since 2003. The seven-wicket victory, which was set up by bowlers, Shabnim Ismail (3/25) and Ayabonga Khaka (3/42) and consolidated by batters, Lizelle Lee (92*) and captain Dané van Niekerk, saw the visitors take a one-nil lead in the three-match series in Worcester on Saturday.
It was a particularly sweet victory as it was the hosts’ first match at home since their ICC World Cup win at Lord’s last year, adding two valuable points towards the visitors’ ICC Women’s Championship campaign.
South Africa’s front-line pace attack, led by Ismail, Khaka and Marizanne Kapp (1/51) had the home side reeling on 64/6 inside the first 17 overs of their innings after they won the toss and elected to bat first. Katherine Brunt took charge of the innings, returning unbeaten for 72 off 98 balls (8x4s), while wickets tumbled all around her.
She led England’s recovery well, helping them reach 189/9 at the end of their innings after they were rocked to 97/8 in the 35th over.
The second highest score came from the extras margin, an area that South Africa will look to improve before the next match on Tuesday. They conceded 25 runs, 12 of which were wides, while Amy Jones, Natalie Sciver and Laura Marsh rounded off England’s top scores, all in their teens, with 19, 16 and 15 respectively.
South Africa’s chase got off to a rocky start when they lost Laura Wolvaardt and Suné Luus for two and none respectively. The former was beaten for pace off a delivery by Brunt and was clean bowled while the latter fell victim to the lightning quick hands of wicketkeeper, Sarah Taylor.
Van Niekerk was promoted up the order, batting at four and shared a match-winning, 113-run stand with Lee, steering their side towards victory before the skipper was bowled out by Anya Shrubsole (2/36) for 58 (79 balls, 10x4s, 1×6) in the 28th over. Mignon du Preez entered the fray and added a brisk, 36* runs to the scoreboard (57 balls, 5x4s) as she and Lee sent their side to a cruising victory with 27 balls to spare.
The second match will take place in Hove on Tuesday at 13:00 local time (14:00 SAST). All three matches in the series will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Captain Dané van Niekerk outlined her side’s intent ahead of the Momentum Proteas’ upcoming tour to England as she was joined by head coach, Hilton Moreeng for a media opportunity in Johannesburg on Wednesday 30 May, 2018.
Thanks to the exceptional performance at last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup, where the team advanced to their first semi-final in 17 years before succumbing to England, van Niekerk insists her charges will go into this tour with new-found belief and the ultimate desire to be victorious.
“First of all, we owe them a big one after the World Cup, so we go there with a bit of revenge in mind,” she jokingly stated.
“We saw in the group stages at the World Cup (how much the gap has closed), where they scored 370-odd but the fact that we came back and scored 300 plus, that already showed the confidence we have against them as a side.
“When we got to the semi-final, from the position they were in and where we were, to get it that close, shows what we have in the side.” van Niekerk added.
After a successful tour at home against Bangladesh, where South Africa claimed convincing five-nil and three-nil triumphs in both the One-Day International and T20 International series respectively, the Proteas are in encouraging form ahead of their three-match ODI and triangular series including New Zealand in testing England conditions.
Coach Moreeng believes this is the ideal opportunity for his side to stamp their mark against the World champions.
“I think, when you look skill-wise and the talent we have in the squad, I’d say the players, management and the team itself should be in the top three. We definitely should be doing better than what we’re doing,” Moreeng said.
“From the World Cup onwards, I think most of the players realised that it’s not just about going there and seeing what we can do and what we can learn. We need to start improving on our ranking and we can do that by taking on the likes of England, New Zealand and Australia, who have been the leading teams in world cricket.
“So, for us as a brand, we are moving in the right direction but we need to win those kinds of series. There is no greater opportunity than the one we’re embarking on in England.
“I think all of us remember what happened in the last match when the two teams met, it’s for us now to go back there and make sure we come are the happier changeroom.” he concluded.
Tour Itinerary: ICC Women’s Championship Royal London ODIs:
- 9 June, 11am: 1st ODI: South Africa win by 7 Wickets (New Road, Worcester)
- 12 June, 1pm: 2nd ODI: England v South Africa (1st Central County Ground, Hove) (D/N)
- 15 June, 2pm: 3rd ODI: England v South Africa (Canterbury) (D/N)
IT20 Tri-Series – England, South Africa & New Zealand
- 20 June, 1pm: South Africa v New Zealand (Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
- 20 June, 5:40pm: England v South Africa (Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
- 23 June, 1pm: England v South Africa (Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
- 23 June, 5:40pm: England v New Zealand (Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
- 28 June, 1pm: South Africa v New Zealand (Brightside Ground, Bristol)
- 28 June, 5:40pm: England v New Zealand (Brightside Ground, Bristol)
- 1 July, 3pm: Final (The CloudFM County Ground, Chelmsford)
Momentum Proteas squad:
- Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province)
- Lizelle Lee (North West)
- Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins)
- Mignon du Preez (Northerns)
- Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province)
- Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng)
- Ayabonga Khaka (Gauteng)
- Masabata Klaas (North West)
- Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng)
- Suné Luus (Northerns)
- Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
- Andrie Steyn (Western Province)
- Zintle Mali (Border)
- Stacey Lackay (Western Province)
- Tazmin Brits (North West)
- Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach)
- Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach)
- Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager)
- Abram Ramoadi (Performance Analyst)
- Russell Clarke (Strength & Conditioning Coach)
- Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist)
- Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison)
Photo 1 caption: A screengrab of the final images of the Supersport broadcast of the first ODI between England and South Africa, at New Road in Worcester, where the visiting Proteas Women secured a historic 7-wicket win to go 1-0 up against the hosts in their 3-match series. Image: Supersport Broadcast screen-grab
Photo 2 caption: The ICC scoresheet highlighting South African performances on Saturday. Image: ICC website