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Wolvaardt and Brits help Proteas secure semifinal spot in T20 World Cup

Wolvaardt and Brits help Proteas secure semifinal spot in T20 World Cup
Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa (left) and Fahima Khatun of Bangladesh in action during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup match at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on 21 February 2023. Wolvaardt’s century batting partnership with Tazmin Brits helped the Proteas to a 10-wicket win to set up a semifinal clash with England on Friday. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)

Openers Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt struck a century partnership to help the Proteas to a 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh. They will now face England in the second semifinal on Friday.

A superb century stand by openers Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits helped the Proteas women to a comfortable 10-wicket win over Bangladesh on Tuesday. The victory means South Africa will face England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup at Newlands on Friday.

In what was essentially a quarterfinal clash for the Proteas, Wolvaardt struck a well-paced 66 off 56 deliveries while Brits held her own with an important 50 off 51 deliveries.

proteas cricket world cup

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa on her way to scoring 66 off 56 deliveries in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup match between against Bangladesh at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on 21 February 2023. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)

Wolvaardt’s confidence-boosting half-century contained seven fours and one magnificent six over mid-on.

Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana won the toss and elected to bat first. The Proteas restricted them to 113 for six, but it wasn’t all easy going for the host nation, chasing 114 for victory.

The opening pair struggled to pierce the gaps and rotate the strike in the first half of the innings, scoring only 43 in the first 10 overs. 

But the handbrake was released after that point, with South Africa thrashing 74 runs in the last 47 deliveries of their innings to secure their passage to the next round with 13 balls to spare.

“An extra 20 to 30 runs would have made a big difference,” said Sultana after the match.

It was a good return to form for Wolvaardt, whose previous highest score in the World Cup was 19 in South Africa’s last match against Australia.

Perfect bowling

The victory, however, was once again set up by South Africa’s phenomenal bowlers.

proteas world cup

Ayabonga Khaka of South Africa picked up two wickets against Bangladesh. (Photo: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images)

Only Nadine de Klerk and Chloe Tryon — who shared the load of the fifth bowler — went for more than six runs an over, while Marizanne Kapp registered magnificent figures of two wickets for 17 runs in her four overs. 

One of her wickets included that of skipper Sultana for 30 in the final over of the innings, just as she was getting going.

Ayabonga Khaka also picked up two wickets as she and Kapp restricted the Bangladeshis masterfully at the end of the innings.

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Left-arm orthodox Nonkululeko Mlaba once again opened the bowling alongside Shabnim Ismail and the pair kept things tight upfront while taking one wicket apiece.

However, South Africa’s fielding left a lot to be desired as the batting heroines Wolvaardt and Brits dropped two sitters.

There were several overthrows as well, which helped Bangladesh reach their below-par total. The Proteas will need to sharpen up in that department if they are to reach their first World Cup final.

Just a few hours before South Africa’s victory, their semifinal opponents, England, dismantled Pakistan by 114 runs. England smashed their way to the highest Women’s T20 World Cup score of 213 for five before bowling Pakistan out for 99.

India and Australia will face off in the first semifinal on Thursday. 

South Africa’s semifinal against England starts at 3pm on Friday. DM

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  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    We need to say to our ladies well done for reaching the semi – finals. Some of us who are staunch cricket fans were concerned about the retirement of Lizelle Lee and the issue of van Niekerk. The sooner the clowns at the helm of our cricket are booted out the better. The treatment of Faf du Plessis by the coach denied us the necessary experience in the World Cup. This goes for the retirement of QDK from Test cricket and raises serious questions about the relationship between CSA and players. We had a knee issue that was poorly handled without proper discussions with players and those with tickey politics appointed by the Minister of Condolences and Congratulations to CSA who need to be booted out as a matter of urgency. The van Niekerk saga around a fitness test by unfit people is going to be a problem as her bowling and batting experience was missed during the Sri Lanka game.
    The commitment of the remaining players must be commended despite the difficult circumstances they are playing under as a result of people from the circus who are at the helm of CSA. We wish them well as always.

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