South Africa romped home to top their final group-stage outing in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier series with an emphatic 10-wicket win over Papua New Guinea, who frittered away a strong opening to collapse to 76 all-out at the Nondescript Cricket Club grounds in Sri Lanka on Monday, 13 February, 2017.
Shabnim Ismail, Youlanie Fourie and Sune Luus picked up two wickets each in a clinical bowling performance that shot PNG out for 76 in 32.4 overs. A team that prides itself on its positivity, PNG couldn’t quite bring itself to fight back.
Dane van Niekerk’s side chased down the total in 13.1 overs, and went into the Super Six round undefeated from Group B.
Having already sealed qualification for the Super Six stage, South Africa rested two important cogs in its pace attack in Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka. Ismail, who had been instrumental in dismantling the Bangladesh top order last week, earned another Player of the Match award for her disciplined performance.
But given the high standards the South Africans have set for themselves, Monday’s new-ball attack with Moseline Daniels, the left-arm medium pacer, perhaps lacked the same nip, even if it missed none of the efficacy.
Playing with little to lose in its last game, PNG approached the match in the right spirit.
The second-wicket pair of Brenda Tau, the left-hand opening batter, and Pauke Siaka, the captain, demonstrated great confidence in finding the boundaries and scampering the singles, and both were strong behind square.
Tau, who narrowly missed a fifty in the previous match against Scotland on Saturday, looked like someone with unfinished business and pulled out some impressive drives. She kept going after she lost Siaka – caught at cover off Marcia Letsoalo – and Konio Oala – easy catch to mid-on in van Niekerk’s first over – bringing up the team fifty in the 21st over with a long-on four.
Luus was rewarded for her good lengths, but wasn’t afraid to go full to tempt the batters, and the two wickets in her second over changed the complexion of the game.
With Fourie getting in on the action to end Tau’s (30) innings with an lbw, and the fielders inside the circle alert and on target, PNG slipped from 63 for 3 in 24.3 overs to 66 for 9 just 3.1 overs later.
When South Africa began its reply, Laura Wolvaardt indicated that the big-hitting Lizelle Lee – also rested – might not be missed, with a straight four to open the innings.
Then it was simply about waiting for the wayward delivery and dispatching it to the boundary. She hit nine fours around the ground on her way to an unbeaten 43, while Lara Goodall, playing her first game of the tournament, was 28 not out.
“I thought that we got better throughout the tournament,” said van Niekerk. “We said we wanted to be clinical and we were, today.
“We won the game with 10 wickets, which is what you’d expect chasing low totals. That’s something we rectified. I can’t fault our bowlers. Hopefully again, we’re just searching for that perfect game.”
First Round Tournament Fixtures and Results for South Africa:
Tues 7 Feb – South Africa (258/9) beat Pakistan (195/6) by 63-runs
Wed 8 Feb – South Africa (143/4) beat Scotland (142) by 6 wickets
Sat 11 Feb – South Africa (101/4) v Bangladesh (100) by 6 wickets
Mon 13 Feb – South Africa (77/0) v Papua New Guinea (76) by 10 wickets
Super Six Stage Fixtures:
Wed 15 Feb – South Africa vs India
Fri 17 Feb – South Africa vs Sri Lanka
Sun 19 Feb – South Africa vs Ireland
Tue 21 Feb – FINAL
Momentum Proteas World Cup Qualifiers squad:
Dane van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province)
Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper, Gauteng)
Moseline Daniels (Boland)
Mignon du Preez (Northerns)
Yolani Fourie (Gauteng)
Lara Goodall (Western Province)
Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng)
Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province)
Ayabonga Khaka (Border)
Lizelle Lee (North West)
Matshipi Letsoalo (Northerns)
Sune Luus (Northerns)
Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal)
Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach)
Sedibu Mohlaba (Team Manager)
Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist)
Abram Ramoadi (Performance Analyst)
Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach)
Russell Clarke (Fitness Trainer)
Photo 1 caption: Lara Goodall calls fellow opening batsman Laura Wolfvaardt through for a quick single, as the two steered the South African side through to a comfortable fourth win in four outings, beating Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets (with 217 balls remaining) at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier series in Sri Lanka, on Monday, 13 February, 2017. Photo: ICC
Photo 2 caption: Laura Wolfvaardt cuts a ball towards the square-leg boundary in her unbroken innings of 43* (52 balls), in which she shared an unbroken opening partnership of 77 with Goodall. Already qualified for the Super Sixes phase of the qualifier tournament after their win against Bangladesh, the group stage result means that SA will also participate in the ICC top tier ODI tournament for the next four years. Photo: ICC
Photo 3 caption: Lara Goodall pictured punching the ball in the V. Their win places SA at the top of the ICC’s WWC Qualifier series’ Group B, and sets up tantalising Super Sixes stage fixtures against India (15 Feb), Sri Lanka (17 Feb) and Ireland (19 Feb). Photo: ICC
Photo 4 caption: Momentum Proteas opening bowler Shabnim Ismail smiles with her second consecutive Player of the Match Award for her figures of 6.4-1-13-2, one of three bowlers including Yolani Fourie and Sune Luus to strike twice in SA’s fielding innings. Photo: ICC
With editing by gsport