ICC Women's World Cup
2nd July 2017
Kapp and van Niekerk sink West Indies
South Africa produced a stunning performance to beat West Indies by ten wickets in the ICC Women's World Cup in Leicester today.
Marizanne Kapp, the right-arm seamer, returned career-best figures of 4 for 14 and Dane van Niekerk, the skipper, took four wickets without conceding a run with her leg-spinners.
Desperately needing a victory to keep its hopes of a semi-final berth alive, the Windies were knocked over for 48 in just 25.2 overs following a batting display that saw only Chedean Nation, at No. 4, reach double-figures.
The sixth lowest total in all ICC Women’s World Cups posed no threat whatsoever for South Africa, who raced to 51 without loss in just 6.2 overs.
Lizelle Lee clattered six fours in making an unbeaten 29, while Laura Wolvaardt brought up the winning boundary and remained unbeaten on 19 as South Africa won with a mammoth 262 deliveries to spare, the largest margin in terms of balls remaining in ICC Women's World Cup history.
South Africa’s second win in three matches – its match against New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled - kept it in contention for a last-four berth while Windies, the World T20 2016 champion, now face a tall order after slumping to its third straight loss.
It didn’t take long for South Africa to break through after van Niekerk stuck the opposition in. Shabnim Ismail, the right-arm fast-medium bowler, accounted for Hayley Matthews in the third over, triggering a steady procession.
Ismail then nipped out the dangerous Stafanie Taylor, the Windies skipper, in her next over before ceding centre stage to first Kapp, who was named player of the match, and then van Niekerk.
Renience Boyce, the debutant, was Kapp’s first victim, caught and bowled left-handed. Kyshona Knight fell first ball and Deandra Dottin lasted only three deliveries as Windies stumbled to 16 for 5 in the eighth over.
The only pocket of resistance came from Nation and Merissa Aguilleira, who put on 22 for the sixth wicket to prevent a complete rout.
Aguilleria negotiated 38 deliveries for three, but when van Niekerk spun one in from outside leg-stump to defeat her sweep and peg leg stump back, a second collapse eventuated which consumed Nation too, whose 26 came off 53 deliveries.
van Niekerk ended the innings by trapping Qiana Joseph, the other debutant, in front for the fifth duck of the innings. It gave the South African skipper extraordinary figures of 3.2-3-0-4.
“It was quite surreal, if I could script it I would not have written it like that," said van Niekerk.
“We had our plans coming into the game and it worked to the tee. I’m really proud of the bowlers, especially my two opening bowlers, they were world-class.”
Photo credit: ICC/Getty Images