An emphatic 161-run victory by Northerns saw them claim their second consecutive Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s Provincial League title when they faced off against Western Province (WP) at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.
Northerns, who were on top of their game from the moment they won the toss and chose to bat, posted a daunting 224/5 at the end of their innings. This was thanks to an outstanding batting performance by Marizanne Kapp, who scored 106 from 160 balls and Dané van Niekerk, who chipped in with 42 from 65 balls, to set a difficult run chase for the visitors.
WP did not have a good start with the bat as they lost captain Shandré Fritz through a run out in the third over for 8, followed by Nadine Moodley (5) in the fifth over, thanks to some nifty bowling by Marcia Letsoalo.
The Northerns bowling attack was tight and on the spot. Van Niekerk’s good form continued with the ball, returning best bowling figures of 3/12 in seven overs. She was well supported by Anrie Steyn, who was the main destroyer of the middle order, returning with three wickets for 21 runs.
WP were skittled out for 63 runs, with Leighshe Jacobs top scoring for the visitors with 22 runs.
WP coach, Peter Harold, felt that more runs were conceded than was necessary, which led to his team’s ultimate loss. Although he expressed his disappointed at their defeat in the final, he was happy with his team’s performance to get them this far. He said: “I think we did well on the field, but we dropped Marizanne Kapp three or four times for her to get her hundred.
“I thought 200 would have been the ideal target but they got 24 runs more than they should have. From a batting perspective, we just did not arrive, we batted poorly, but all credit to Northerns, they did really well upfront with the ball and we didn’t stick around long enough to put up a fight.”
“Looking at the season holistically, I’m very proud of my team, winning 11 out of 12 matches in the entire season is a really good record and we’re very proud of it. The team’s sacrifice and their professionalism throughout the season is something that they can be proud of. We will not hang our heads in shame at all,” he concluded.
Northerns coach, Martelize van der Merwe is delighted with her team’s performance, “It’s utter jubilation in our camp!” she exclaimed. “The second championship win in a row for us and it’s once again due to the hard work that the players have put in to get themselves this far.
“The seniors once again put up their hands and led from the front, Marizanne (Kapp) scored a beautiful century and Dané (van Niekerk) has done extremely well, showing such great improvement,” said Van der Merwe. “It’s great to see the quality of players we have and they make the coach’s job so much easier. Full credit goes to the players.”
Winning captain, Mignon du Preez was proud of the hard work put in by her side and was happy to see it pay off, she said: “We’ve worked so hard this season and every single girl on this side has chipped in to get us where we are today.
“I want to give special congratulations to Kappie (Kapp) on such a brilliant senior performance, but really well done to the entire squad for the team effort. I think we worked really hard and deserved to win,” said Du Preez.
CSA Senior Cricket Manager, Max Jordaan is delighted at the quality of cricket that was on display during the entire season of the Women’s League, “It’s good to see such good scores by players in tight matches like this.
“This only serves to further prove that the High Performance programme that has been adopted by CSA is working and is reaping its rewards,” he commented.