Best is yet to come, Proteas all-rounder Kapp says

SA see off England for first time in two decades in nail-biting World Cup game

Marizanne Kapp of South Africa bats during the Women's World Cup match against England at Bay Oval on March 14, 2022 in Tauranga, New Zealand
Marizanne Kapp of South Africa bats during the Women's World Cup match against England at Bay Oval on March 14, 2022 in Tauranga, New Zealand

The Momentum Proteas may have an unblemished record at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand but star all-rounder Marizanne Kapp says they have plenty more to offer.

Gqeberha’s Kapp put on an impressive display with bat and ball to help the  side overcome a hapless England in a nail-biting three-wicket victory on Monday morning.

The result moves SA into second position on the table behind Australia and was the first win for SA over the English in a World Cup tournament in more than two decades.

Kapp scooped the player-of-the-match award, taking a first-ever one-day international five-for with five for  45 in 10 overs, to restrict England to 235 for nine wickets.

The 32-year-old then provided the perfect backup with the bat as she scored 32 runs off 42 balls to go along with Laura Wolvaardt’s 77 off 101 and captain Sune Luus’s innings of 36 in 49 to inflict a third straight tournament defeat on the defending champions.

Despite her heroics, Kapp was upset at losing her wicket so close to the end but said she was always confident her teammates would take them over the line.

“I was a bit annoyed with myself and I probably should have finished that game.

“So that put a lot of pressure on the two batters that were in the middle.

“But they [Shabnim Ismail and Trisha Chetty] are experienced players, who have played over 100 games, so I backed them to take us to the end there,” Kapp said.

Kapp, who has played 120 ODI matches for the Proteas, said it was a particularly proud moment for her to be able to take five wickets for the first time in her career and even more so being able to do it in such an important clash.

She admits the team are yet to hit their stride with the bat, but said that the bowling was a key factor in being able to produce positive results.

“For as long as I can remember, our biggest strength has been our bowling.

“There are a few of us who have played for SA for a very long time, so one would think that we know what we are doing when we step out onto the field.

“I think the reason we have done so well over the last few years is because our batting has been really good.

“We have been a bit slow in the last three matches,” Kapp said.

“I don’t think we are anywhere near our best, especially with the bat, so I think today was a step in the right direction for us.”

Kapp said overcoming their England hoodoo in World Cup tournaments was a testament to how hard the team had worked on all facets of their game.

She said the win would help them build on their confidence.

“The first two games probably did not show the type of cricket we can and want to play, even today, we scraped the runs together and managed to get over the line.

“We know the heartbreak we’ve had in previous WC tournaments and [in matches in England], so we came with different plans, luckily it paid off for us.

“I believe this team will only get stronger with each game that we play from this point forward,” she said.

Regular Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk, who is missing the 2022 tournament due to an ankle injury, has been a passionate supporter of the team on social media since the tournament began.

“I believe that a lot of the performances we have had in the last year, year and a half, are because of her and how she has carried this team for such a long time,” Kapp said.

“It is so sad that she is not here to enjoy this win with us, but I know she is our biggest supporter.”

The Proteas next face hosts New Zealand in Hamilton on Thursday.





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