Momentum Proteas captain still getting to grips with bowlers ...

2 Oct 2023

Getting a clearer understanding of her bowlers’ capabilities and needs in different match situations will improve over time, Momentum Proteas interim captain Laura Wolvaardt says.

“Wolfie” and her charges slumped to a six-wicket (DLS method) defeat to New Zealand in the Black Day ODI in Durban on Sunday, but SA had already wrapped up the series thanks to victories in the opening two encounters.

Rain twice interrupted Sunday’s match, shortening the 50-over game to 48 overs, and then to 45, as grey skies continued to hover over the venue for much of the day.

Marizanne Kapp led the way for SA, scoring 72 runs from 73 balls, while sharing in two important partnerships, combining with Chloe Tryon to record 58 for the fifth wicket and then Sinalo Jafta, with whom she made 41 for the seventh wicket, to help the Proteas post 209 in the allotted 45 overs.

In reply, the Kiwis, buoyed by a sensational Amelia Kerr ton, lost just four wickets as they chased down the modest winning target with 10 balls to spare.

Asked how she was coming along in terms of getting a better understanding of her bowlers, Wolvaardt said she was slowly getting the hang of it.

“In ODI cricket, it can be difficult to know when to put pressure on and keep the field up, when to protect the over and give away the single, or at the back end of an innings, knowing when best to use our death bowling plans.

“I am slowly getting the hang of it, I’ve already seen that certain bowlers like certain fields and like trying different things.

“So, it’s getting better and the more I find myself in these different situations, the better it will get moving forward,” she said.

SA’s cause with the ball was not helped by star seamer Kapp leaving the field, having bowled just three overs, after a spike in her heart rate led to her being rested as a precaution.

“We probably didn’t have our best start with the ball — they had a really good partnership between [Sophie] Devine and Kerr that looked like it was taking the game away from us.

“Lefty [Nonkululeko Mlaba] had a few difficult overs when she started,” Wolvaardt said.

“But once she got to her fourth or fifth over, I think Lefty, as well as Chloe at the other end, bowled really well and we were able to create some pressure and take wickets.

“That little spell with the spinners really brought it back nicely for us, and we were able to keep restricting them and take it a lot deeper than we thought we could have.”

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