Defending champions of the women’s provincial cricket leagues Western Province are peaking at the right time, according to captain Olivia Anderson, following their spectacular 10-wicket away win over Inland-league log-leaders Northerns at Supersport Park on Saturday, 31 March.
“Northerns won the toss, and they decided to have a bat. The pitch was perfect, it was a beautiful batting track, and the outfield was lightning-quick,” Anderson told gsport on Tuesday.
“It was quite hard to set a field on that, because you just had to touch the ball, and it went to the boundary,” Anderson continued.
“After two overs, they were 19 without loss, (but) then we put on two of our best bowlers, Ashlyn Kilowan and Shandre Fritz, and they managed to pull it back, put a lot of pressure on the opposition, and they lost a few quick wickets.”
After the drinks break the Pretoria-based team lost two quick wickets in one over, and they continued from there to lose wickets at regular intervals, and were eventually bowled out for 119 in the 42nd over.
Northerns opener Jackie Knoetze top-scored for her side with a stoic 29 runs from 52 balls, and new find Mignon du Preez was next-best with a fairly brisk 23 off 34 balls, before Shandre Fritz picked up her first wicket in her first game back in the team, since returning after an extended injury lay-off.
Apart from Northerns captain L de Beer, no other Northerns batswoman made it into double-figures, as the Cape Town-based travellers piled on the pressure.
“Our fielders did a brilliant job. They (Northerns) didn’t bat badly, we just managed to pull it back quite a bit, and they got out on bad balls, trying to put the bad ball away, they hit it straight to our fielders.”
Best bowling figures for WP was claimed by Stacey Hercules, who bagged four for 21 in nine overs, including two maidens.
She was backed up by the South African opener Ashlyn Kilowan and Shandre Fritz each claiming two wickets, Kilowan’s pair at a cost of 18 runs in 8.1 overs, with two maidens.
“After lunch my partner (Alexis le Breton) and I went in, and we got the runs in 32 overs, for no loss,” Anderson dryly told gsport.
Anderson scored 67 in her unbroken opening stand of 125 with opening partner le Breton, who claimed her fourth half-century innings of the season.
This is the second time this year that WP have won a match by 10 wickets, though the chase against Griqualand West’s total of 22 will not be counted in the same league as their past weekend’s performance.
Boland will be taking notice of the improved batting form of their tournament finals rivals, who have twice exceeded 200 runs in winning totals in their last three matches.
Boland hosts Western Province in the tournament final, to be played at Boland Park on Saturday, 7 April.