More questions as Proteas Women suffer T20 series loss

Protea's batter Laura Wolvaart attacks a delivery during the T20 international against Sri Lanka at Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium, East London on April 3, 2024
Protea's batter Laura Wolvaart attacks a delivery during the T20 international against Sri Lanka at Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium, East London on April 3, 2024


With only a handful of months until the ICC T20 Women's World Cup, the Proteas were left with more questions than answers after they suffered a 2-1 T20 series loss to Sri Lanka at Buffalo Park on Wednesday. 

A four-wicket defeat in East London was the Proteas' ninth in 15 T20 matches and means the side has not won a T20 series since June 2022. 

Chasing a tricky target of 156, Chamari Athapaththu played arguably the best captain's knock in her T20 career.

The 34-year-old veteran smashed a career-best 73 off 46 balls, hitting seven fours and five sixes.

Sri Lanka lost the early wicket of opener Vishmi Gunaratne for a single in the second over. 

Athapaththu and Harshitha Samarawickrama shared a match-defining 97-run stand for the third wicket taking the game away from the hapless Proteas outfit.

Though Marizanne Kapp removed the dangerous Athapaththu with the Sri Lankans needing 50 runs, the damage was already done. 

Samarawickrama anchored the innings until the last ball and finished unbeaten with 54 runs off 43 balls as his side finished with 156 for six with four balls to spare. 

Despite the disappointment of losing the toss and her chances of bowling first on the slow surface blocked, Proteas captain Laura Wolvaardt picked her head up like she did in Benoni where she scored a century to lead from the front. 

She missed the last game where the Proteas lost to the Sri Lankans in Potchefstroom due to illness and her presence was missed in the batting line-up. 

Upon her return, Wolvaardt proved she is crucial to the side's plans for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September. She helped guide the Proteas women to 155-6 with her 56 runs off 47. 

The half-century consisted of eight boundaries, her back foot punch and cut shot through the covers were things of beauty. 

The Proteas had a decent enough start with Tazmin Brits and Wolvaardt at the forefront. They reached 37 runs in four overs before Brits edged spinner Sugandika Kumari for seven runs. 

Regardless of scoring 50 runs in the first power play, the Proteas' top order were uneasy against seamer Udeshika Prabodhani and the spin of Kumari and Kavisha Dilhari. 

The frustration of the Proteas not getting the scoreboard ticking over resulted in Marizanne Kapp and Sune Luus gifting their wickets as they were caught and bowled respectively for eight and five.

Anneke Bosch, fresh fifty in Potch, provided a handy 27 off 21 balls before she fell victim to yet another spinner Priyadharshani Fernando. 

With Proteas in a spot of bother at 97-4 after 14 overs, Wolvaardt and De Klerk stood resolute with a 54-run stand between them. 

Wolvaardt was bowled by Kumari with four balls left in the innings. De Klerk finished with an unbeaten 44 runs, smashing four fours and three sixes.

Kumari was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowling attack as she ended with three for 24 in her four overs.





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