The best of Proteas Women in T20 World Cup contests
The best that Proteas women have ever managed in World T20 contests is ending as semi-finalists back in the 2014 edition.
From thereon, it may not be wrong to state, they’ve desperately underperformed.
They aren’t a domineering outfit. Yet, at the same time, not the easiest to beat or overcome.
What makes the Proteas Women special?
But truth be told, few teams are as loved and admired for playing determinedly and passionately as the passionate ladies from South Africa.
You could be a fan of Mandhana and Kaur’s India, a devotee or Meg Lanning’s incredible Australian side or a backer of Sophie Devine’s White Ferns or Stafanie Taylor’s capricious Windies Women, but when South Africa win, you feel happy.
Epitomizing the ‘never say die’ sentiment, the Proteas Women battle according to gladiators on the cricket turf but with the conscience and heart of someone who loves to inspire the cricket-loving audiences.
They bring a smile to the face and a sense of gladness to the heart displaying camaraderie and power that stems from playing as one close-knit unit.
A genuinely likable side with several match-winners, whether you speak of the trailblazing Van Niekerk, the vastly-respected all-rounder Kapp, the evergreen batting mainstay Mignon du Preez, the big-hitting Lizelle Lee, the exceptional all-rounder Sune Luus, Proteas’ fans would want no more from their favorite side team other than them to stick together and pack a punch in unison, discounting inconsistency that’s often led them down in the past.
Therefore, it is about time, that the much-admired Women’s force rose to the position of prominence that’s so expected of them.
Not only because the Proteas Women bring a colorful layer of passion and freak ability to excel in the sport- staying true to their mantra of being united akin to the Rainbow Nation essence. But also since they boast of undoubtedly world-class talents in their ranks that inspire as much as they thrill.
What can be expected with respect to the recent form guide?
But while the side will contest with quintessential unbridled optimism ahead, carrying forth a strong team-make up that’s as wealthy in experience as in match-winning skill, the only thing that doesn’t augur well for the ladies is a jaded recent T20 run, epitomized by their recent thrashing at the hands of the White Ferns: where Van Niekerk’s unit went down haplessly 3-0 in the 5-game series.
But even as the T20Is (played in NZ) proved a one-way street, the South Africans had mowed down White Ferns, one of the most dangerous sides around in the current context of the sport, whitewashing them 3-0 in ODIs.
Last year, enduring a sedate T20 run, marked by massive losses to India in the T20s, the series going India’s way: 3-1: with 2 abandoned games, the likes of Lizelle Lee and Mignon piled on the runs, carving 125 and 82 runs, respectively from just 4 games.
Now let’s figure how the Proteas women fared in the last T20 World Cup, held in the West Indies, in 2018?
The Proteas Women won 2 games and lost as many, beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh losing to West Indies and England.
But first up, SA beat Sri Lanka, who could only make 99. Ismail took a 3-for while Kapp struck 38 off 44 as the team won with more than an over to spare.
The team then lost to the Windies women, who had asked a paltry 108, the hosts destructed by a fantastic spell of 3-for-12 by Ismail. But wrecked by Taylor’s match-winning spell, the Proteas bundled out on 76. Kapp made 26 of those runs.
Moving on rather disappointingly, the Proteas women were bundled out for another low-score in the next game, this time making 85 versus England. Tryon, who in the earlier game played her 50th T20I, played a lone hand with 27 valuable runs but Sciver’s match-winning spell of 3-for-4 did the trick for England.
Finally, there was some respite and a valuable one at that in a tournament, where things didn’t materialize how the team would’ve wanted. The Proteas beat Bangladesh easily, albeit in a low-scoring encounter making 109, at the back of another special knock by Kapp, who scored 25. In reply, the bowlers bowled tightly and accurately, sticking to a line as they successfully restricted Khatun’s ladies to just 79.
Moving on, who’ve been Proteas’ top performers with the BAT in World T20 games over the years?
Dane van Niekerk
From the onset of 2009-18, Van Niekerk has played as many as 23 matches, from which she’s scored 430 runs, including 1 fifty, with the highest score of 90*, whilst maintaining a batting average of 26 + a strike rate of over 84. She’s also carved 36 fours from all of her World Cup appearances.
Mignon du Preez
From the onset of 2009-18, former captain du Preez has featured in 23 matches, 4 of which saw her carry her bat through to the end of an inning. She’s collected 326 runs and struck 2 fifties, whilst scoring the highest knock of 53*, maintaining an average of 18, and a strike rate nearing 94.
From 2009-18, Kapp, who’s played in 18 T20s, scored 236 runs, striking runs at a rate of 84, with the highest score of 38.
From 2014-18, Lee, who’s played 13 World Cup contests, has gone on to collect 232 runs, her highest score being 67*, and a fine striker rate of over 97.
From the onset of 2010-18, the batter to hit the maximum number of sixes for her side in World Cup contests- 9- has scored 199 runs from 15 games, in 3 of which she’s carried her bat. While she’s yet to strike a fifty (highest being 40)- her strike rate is an explosive 132.
Who’ve been Top performers with the BALL in world T20 games?
Dane van Niekerk
From the onset of 2009-2018, the Proteas captain played 23 games, of which she’s taken 21 wickets whilst maintaining an economy of 5.6. Her best bowling in all of World T20 games, thus far, has been 3-10.
From the onset of 2009-18, Kapp has played 18 matches, from which she’s taken 15 wickets, whilst maintaining an economy of 4.9- brilliant given that it’s hard to do so in 20-twenty cricket. Kapp’s best bowling in World Cup contests has been her 3-for-16.
From the onset of 2012-18, the leg-spinning all-rounder has clinched 13 wickets from 14 games, whilst taking a brilliant fifer; her best figures being 5-for-8 and has maintained an economy of 5.
Overall T20I batting performances for Proteas women
Mignon du Preez
The ever-smiling and the redoubtable spark of the Proteas fire, the right-hander has featured in 95 matches, from which she’s scored 1666 runs, striking 7 fifties, at a strike rate of 100.
Dane van Niekerk
From 79 matches and 70 innings, the inspirational captain has plundered 1776 runs, struck 10 fifties with a highest score of an unbeaten 90. Moreover, the captain has carried her bat on 10 occasions, indicating her strength to hold on to an end. A strike of 95 is as healthy as her average that’s nearing 30.
The young all-rounder has featured in 70 matches, from which she’s gathered 636 runs (scored of 49 innings), struck 3 fifties and produced the highest score of 71. Her strike rate is an admirable one at 106.
What’s more? She’s carried her bat in 14 innings.
From 70 matches, the brute striker of the ball has scored 1545 runs, including a strike rate of nearly 108, struck 11 fifties, with the highest score of 84 and an average that’s almost 25.
The steely all-rounder has featured in 76 matches, from which she’s collected 877 runs-closing in on 1,000 T20 runs-and collected 56 wickets, struck 1 fifty, maintained a strike rate of 95.
There’s more! “Kappie” has remained unbeaten on 16 occasions.
From 21 matches, the breezy opener has collected 333 runs, maintaining a strike rate of 95 and has struck 1 fifty. A lot concerning SA’s team total would boil down to how the right-hander scores from up top, batting alongside a destructor in Lizelle Lee.
But the X-Factor, it could be said, is Chloe Tryon
The burly right-handed batter, who’s been around since 2010 in T20Is, has made 710 runs. In 18 of the 61 games she’s featured in, Durban’s dear daughter has remained unbeaten on 18 occasions and has carved runs at a strike rate of 139, the highest in the line-up.
The only blemish for such a talented batter, you’d feel, is that, thus far, she hasn’t struck a fifty, with the highest score of 43.
But if one were to understand what makes the vice-captain such a dangerous exponent around, then you’d have to rewind to the events of Potchefstroom, February 2018.
Despite India getting the better in the maiden T20 contest back then, South Africa’s 164 runs came largely at the behest of Tryon’s whipping of Indian bowlers, wherein she’d blast 32 runs (4 sixes) off just 7 deliveries.
If big strike rates are what T20Is demand then how about a strike-rate of 457?
Bowlers lookout, Tryon will soon be on strike!
Finally, there’s Trisha Chetty, who provides a lot of depth to the Proteas batting, having been around the T20I circuit since 2007, quite like Mignon.
A strong core of Proteas Women’s unit, Chetty’s featured in 72 matches, from which she’s collected 1109 runs, striking 3 fifties. At the same time, she’s been keen to up a strike rate that’s just 88 bearing the demand of the quick format.
Overall T20Is bowling performances by Proteas women
From 76 bowling innings, the Proteas Women captain has clinched 59 wickets, taken 1 four-for, has collected the best bowling figures of 4-for-17 and, and maintained a decent economy of 5.4.
The loopy leg break specialist has featured in 70 matches, from which she’s had 55 bowling innings that have resulted in 44 wickets, which include 2 brilliant fifers and 1 four-for. Her economy is 6.4- something Luus would be keen curtail back- whilst her best bowling is 5 for 8.
The great Protean all-rounder has featured in 76 matches, which have returned 56 wickets, which include 1 4-for, the best bowling returns of 4 for 6 and a very healthy economy of 5.4.
Express pace bowler and modern legend, Ismail has featured in 88 matches, from which she’s grabbed 94 wickets, has maintained a very fine economy of 5.7. It’s as brilliant as her best bowling figures of 5 for 30.
Someone adept at keeping the scoring under check often used as a first change bowler, Khaka can hold onto her own in a team of magnificent wicket-takers.
Having been playing T20Is since 2012, the medium-pacer has played 25 games, from which she’s taken 24 wickets, maintaining an economy of 6.4, with the best bowling of 4-for-23.
An unassuming contestant who prefers to keep her head down and focus on the contest, only the tenth bowler to take a hat trick in ODI cricket- Klass is a resolute medium-pacer known for her variations.
Having been playing T20s, since 2010, Klass has played 37 matches but taken just 18 wickets. If there’s something the medium-pacer would want to work on then it’s her economy: 7.75.
Possible outcome: South Africa are spurred by a sense of unity, they create magic when they play together as one. Not a unit that’s driven by individual performances; this is a close-knit crop of talents where one seeks inspiration from the other’s efforts, backing each other up. That they have all their match-winners around in this T20 20 World Cup- Kapp, Van Niekerk, Luus, du Preez, Lee, Tryon, Ismail- the team should definitely bid for a place in the semi-finals, if they play to full potential. If not, it should be a real dampener for the passionate side.