Proteas women
Sketch prepared by S.Rajnikanth for HoldingWilley

The Australians are always winning. Well, mostly, if not always. The English are ever strong. Too big a side to be taken lightly. India challenge the authority of the best in the women’s sport, much like the White Ferns. The Windies surprise and pack a few punches when familiar inconsistencies don’t play spoilsport. What about the Proteas women?

They inspire. They play, lose, win, and at times, do plenty of that. They get their hearts broken. Think the 2017 ODI world cup. They breach the semis stage and play glorious cover drives in T20 world cups. 2020 Down Under was a fine example.

But neither do they take their wins to their heads nor do they let defeat break their spirit. And in continuing to persevere as only they can, the Proteas women march on ahead.

They do that beyond the capacity of their naysayers and unrestricted by the limits of praise and plaudits. And for a side that perhaps etched the headlining shot of the T20 World cup (2020), with Mignon du Preez nailing Katherine Brunt over deep mid wicket for a towering six, the Proteas women continued their good work this year, playing passionate cricket world-over with quintessential togetherness.

While 2021 meant different things to different teams, for instance bringing back Deandra Dottin to the big stage, unfurling Thailand in a way none had imagined, whilst seeing Australia ace ODI cricket, the year did underline the very best the Proteas women had to offer.

A side that welcomed the challenge of Pakistan visiting their shores, the Proteas women under Luus’ captaincy seemed an impregnable wall becoming ever too staunch a challenge for Javeria Khan’s unit to breach.

First, a sensational three-for by Shabnim Ismail let the hosts defend a lowly 200, of which Kapp alone compiled 47. Then, Lee, Kapp, and Luus helped steady a slow start in the second contest to help the side put a competitive 252. An unsettled Pakistani line-up with the top three (Naheeda, Omaima and Muneeba) contributing only 49 never really looked capable of chasing down a decent score that eventually seemed an unreachable one. Although, Dar and Riaz’s glorious, nearly game changing fifties kept Pakistan in the hunt, Khaka’s incredible spell of 4 for 40 off her quota of 10 overs did the trick.

In the end, South Africa took a morale-boosting 2-nil lead with three games to go. The series-win came in the next game, where Lee and Wolvaardt were found piercing boundaries on either side of a slow Durban pitch. But even a middle order failure with Luus, Goodall, and Brits making no more than 19 couldn’t slow down the hosts’ tempo despite Diana Baig’s valiant efforts.

In the end, Pakistan would be bundled out for 169 with Luus, Ismail and Khaka suffocating Pakistani batters under a barrage of dot deliveries, each taking three wickets apiece.

That is how the ODI whitewash of Pakistan came about courtesy the Proteas women playing to their brute and collective strengths, utilising great 50 over form in the T20Is that’d follow.

Whilst Brits struck two matchwining fifties on the trott, and in the process revived what had been a rather lacklustre career much to the delight of home fans, the final T20I saw a slight niggle for the hosts.

Javeria Khan‘s timely intervention with the bat (56 off 50), a true captain’s knock with the lowly form of her team at the background could certainly have motivated the right hander to come to Pakistan’s rescue. Though one was glad that happened, what Pakistan couldn’t stop, however, was the Proteas women winning the T20Is 2-1 much to the delight of home fans.

Later, the Proteas women toured India minus Dane van Niekerk but it didn’t seem to impact the collective strength of a side that took to Lucknow with one intent and one alone. And it was to leave the Indians stunned and in turn, the hosts baffled by what was to come.

Never in the past decade and a half of playing international cricket had South Africa ever beaten India in India. But as they say there’s a time for everything so 2021 produced firm Protea magic on the cricket-obsessed bylanes of India that unsuspectingly tickled a sleeping giant by hosting it for a white-ball series.

The end result was the Proteas women smashing India 4-1 in a five-match series as Lee, Wolvaardt, and later, du Preez and Brits joined hands to dismantle a bowling attack that seemed banal, lacking imagination even.

While India’s Punam Raut provided some answers with the bat for India, Lizelle Lee left little to the imagination in going big in the ODI series. By the time the 3rd ODI hit fans, the series already tied at 1-1, the fiery right hander took things into her command plundering a 132, scoring sixty percent of her side’s tally.

The fourth ODI saw the vanguard of Proteas batting Mignon du Preez hold centrestage spoiling the party for India’s Punam Raut (104) as the dogged right hander took her side home thanks to a fine 61 off just 55. Whilst Lee and Wolvaardt had already compiled a 116-run opening stand, it was du Preez’s firm handling of the run chase (267) in the middle order that kept South Africa in the hunt.

The fifth game too was an easy win right after which one saw three brilliant T20Is happen on the very turf where by the conclusion of the one-dayers the visitors had grown confident and ever so consistent. Where the ODIs were determined by the pounding of Lee and Laura’s blades, the T20Is belonged to the charismatic Anne Bosch, a true find of Proteas women.

A cautious aggregator up the order, Bosch, an ever-agile fielder wherever put to patrol the field also chipped in with her handy medium pace, bagging 3 wickets and rallying around Ismail’s 4 from three contests. A vital, match-winning fifty from Bosch also became a highlight of what eventually turned out to be a one-sided series.

That being said, the series that truly highlighted the might of the Proteas women was their successful tour to the West Indies, which in essence could’ve been difficult- but wasn’t – since there was no Stafanie Taylor, the Jamaican out injured.

A void, a vacuum, call it what you may. But for the visitors, it ushered a sense of belief that the onerous could be attained and so it was as Lee and Wolvaardt and then, du Preez joined hands to put on the mighty runs on the board, something the Windies just couldn’t replicate with the bats.

With Hayley Matthews’ not in the best of forms and Deandra Dottin only managing a brute (often odd) hit here or there but nothing substantial, when the going got tough for the Windies batters, the Proteas kept going, truth be known.

And in the end, sticking together and playing their ultra competitive brand of aggressive but fair cricket helped the Proteas women usurp the big-hitting Windies, who on this occasion, never seemed that big for the South Africans.

Having said the above, if there was ever a time in their cricketing history where the batting and bowling departments seeme in harmony and great balance then this is it. It’s 2021 and the batting order oozes class and might. There’s Lizelle Lee, the tireless hammerer of runs. Then the woman who plays the world’s most gorgeous cover drive- Laura Wolvaardt.

Kapp’s back and it’s a threat to the best in the world who’d like to contest the Proteas women understanding a warning written in caps-lock “on.” And it’s that the moment you throw in there the quartet of Ismail, van Niekerk, Khaka and Luus, the team becomes an almost impregnable fortress to breach.

Forget not then, that the bulwark of the middle order is still going strong and flowing like cool breeze. Her job’s to gather timeless runs for her nation. Her name- Mignon du Preez!

South Africa in West Indies

1st T20I

BatswomenHighest -Scorer  Most Wickets
Kapp36 RunsKapp =  1 wicket
Wolvaardt35 Runs 

2nd T20I

BatswomenHighest  Scorer  Most Wickets
Lee75 RunsKapp  =  3 wickets
Wolvaardt33 RunsAyabonga Khaka  = 2 wickets, Nonkululeko  Mlaba= 2 wickets

3rd T20I

Batswomen Highest  Scorer  Most Wickets 
Sune Luus23 RunsDane Van Niekerk  = 2 wickets
Tazmin Brits16 RunsAyabonga Khaka =  1 wicket

ODI series

1st ODI

BatswomenHighest- Scorer   Most Wickets
Lee91 RunsAyabonga Khaka  = 2 wickets
Laura  Wolvaardt36 RunsSekhukhune = 2 wickets
Van Niekerk = 2 wickets

2nd ODI

BatswomenHighest -Scorer   Most Wickets
Laura Wolvaardt71Kapp = 3 Wickets
Lara Goodall25Ayabonga Khaka = 2 wickets

Van Niekerk = 2 wickets

Sune Luus = 2 wickets

3rd ODI

BatswomenHighest-Scorer   Most Wickets
Lee78S Ismail = 3 wickets
Laura Wolvaardt53Ayabonga Khaka = 2 wickets Sune Luus = 2 wickets

4th ODI

BatswomenHighest-Scorer   Most Wickets
M Du Preez65Dane Van Niekerk = 3 wickets
Tazmin Brits30Masabata Klaas  = 2 wickets

5th ODI

BatswomenHighest -Scorer   Most Wickets 
Lee61Nadine De Klerk = 3 Wicket
Tazmin Brits48Van Niekerk = 1 wicket C Tryon = 1 Wicket

Proteas in India


Most runs byHighest scoreTotal runsMost wickets  byTotal wickets
Sune Luus4391Shabnim Ismail4
Lizelle Lee7090Anne Bosch3
Anne Bosch6686  


1st ODI

Batswomen  Highest ScorerMost Wickets
Lizelle Lee 83S Ismail = 3 wickets
Laura Wolvaardt 80N Mlaba = 2 wickets

2nd ODI

Batswomen Highest-Scorer Most Wickets
 Sune Luus36 Shabnim Ismail = 1 wicket
 Lara Goodall49     

3rd ODI

Most Wickets
Lizelle Lee   132 Shabnim Ismail =  2 wicket

Kapp  =  1 wicket

Sekhukhune = 1 wicket

Anne Bosch = 1 wicket
Mignon Du Preez 37 

4th ODI

 BatswomenHighest-Scorer Most Wickets
 Lizelle Lee  69 Sekhukhune  2 wicket  
 Mignon Du Preez61Shangase  1 wicket  
Shabnim Ismail 1 wicket  

5th ODI

BatswomenHighest-Scorer   Most Wickets
M Du Preez65 RunsDane Van Niekerk = 3 Wicket
Tazmin Brits30 RunsMasabata Klaas  = 2 Wicket

Pakistan in South Africa



Most runsRunsHighest scoreFifties4s, 6s
Kapp11568116, 1


Most wicketsWicketsBest bowlingFour-for, three forBest eco in a match
Shabnim Ismail73 for 22 in 92 three-fors2.4 in 3rd ODI
Ayabonga Khaka74 for 40 in 101 four-for, 1 three-for3.2 in 3rd ODI


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