South Africa’s Kapp continues to shine in WPL while her compatriots struggle for game time

South Africa’s Kapp continues to shine in WPL while her compatriots struggle for game time
Marizanne Kapp gestures during the WPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals at Brabourne Stadium. (Photo: Pankaj Nangia / Getty Images)

Marizanne Kapp took exceptional figures of five for 15 in the Women’s Premier League on Saturday to underpin her high price tag.

Proteas Women all-rounder Marizanne Kapp has been in scintillating form with both bat and ball for the Delhi Capitals in the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India.

Kapp came into the tournament with the biggest price tag among her compatriots – at INR 1.5 crore (about R3.2-million) – and she has repaid the faith with consistent performances.

The highlight of her showings in the tournament came in her side’s triumphant 10-wicket win over Gujarat Giants on Saturday, 11 March.

Kapp took sensational tournament-best figures of five for 15, ripping through Giants’ top and middle order with a devastating spell of swing bowling.

“Just wanted to perform so badly. It’s not been going so well. I felt I missed my line and length a lot in the previous games. If you want to perform you need to put in the hard work,” Kapp said after the encounter.

The all-rounder is currently the sixth-highest wicket taker with six scalps after five innings. Her economy with the new ball is equally impressive, as she is going at just over six runs an over in a tournament that has been a run-fest so far.

Read in Daily Maverick:Women’s Premier League swings into action, with some South African flavour

Kapp’s form with the bat has been equally destructive, currently 13th on the overall run-scoring charts with an impressive average of 44.5 in four innings.

The Delhi Capitals are second on the WPL log with four wins and one loss in their five outings.

Little playing time

The second wicket of Kapp’s fatal spell against Gujarat Giants was that of national teammate Laura Wolvaardt, when she cleaned up her leg stump.

Wolvaardt was not initially selected by any of the five teams at the WPL draft. But after Australian star batter Beth Mooney injured her knee while batting during the Giants’ opening match, Wolvaardt was quickly recruited as a replacement.

Kapp dismissed Wolvaardt for one run – her only showing so far – but if Wolvaardt finds the form that led her to being the leading run-scorer at the recently concluded T20 Women’s World Cup, she could prove to be the snap-up of the tournament.

The Gujarat Giants are currently fourth on the standings, with three losses and one victory in their opening four matches.

Shabnim Ismail received the second-highest bid among South Africans at draft in February of INR 1 crore (close to R2.1-million), but has found her playing time limited in the competition that only allows four overseas players per team, per match.

Read in Daily Maverick:17 South African cricketers throw names in the hat for inaugural Women’s Premier League

Ismail has been luckless in her two outings for the UP Warriorz, with two drop catches coming off her bowling in her last match against Mumbai Indians. In her two matches, she’s picked up one wicket and is going at an economy rate of 7.88.

The UP Warriorz make up the middle of the log with two wins and two defeats in their first four matches.

Grace Harris of UP Warriorz during the WPL match against the Gujarat Giants at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy Stadium. (Photo: Pankaj Nangia / Getty Images)

Yet to play

Big-hitting all-rounder Chloe Tryon is yet to hit the field for Mumbai. Her competition to make one of the four available spots is stiff for the table-topping Indians.

New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr is occupying the spin-bowling all-rounder slot and she has been near faultless with both bat and ball.

Kerr has taken six wickets in the tournament with her leg-breaks and has only needed to bat once — striking an unbeaten 45 off 24 deliveries.

Former Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk, meanwhile, has continued her spell on the sidelines as she waits for her turn to run out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

RCB currently prop up the log standings in fifth place as they continue to search for the first win in the tournament.

New Zealand’s Sophie Devine, Australia’s Ellyse Perry and England’s Heather Knight all play as batters who can turn their arm over for RCB.

Devine and Knight’s performances have been inconsistent while Perry has been the sole shining light for the Bangalore based side in their dismal campaign thus far.

Van Niekerk has had a disappointing few months and has been unable to get onto the playing field, because of injury, fitness and now being overlooked.

The all-rounder hinted at retiring from international cricket on social media this week, but according to Cricket South Africa, it is all “hearsay”. DM


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