HomeSeries PreviewRejuvenated Niekerk Regains the Charge As South Africa Eyes Their First Series...

Rejuvenated Niekerk Regains the Charge As South Africa Eyes Their First Series Victory In West Indies

The West Indies team are all set to return to the International circuit after a successful double series win over Pakistan, where they took the T20I series 3-0 and the ODI series 3-2. On the other hand, South Africa will continue their winning momentum, after their back to back T20I series victory against Pakistan and India.

While after a successful venture in The Hundred, Dane Van Niekerk who lead Oval Invincible to their maiden title, will regain her captaincy for South Africa, Experienced off-spinner Anisa Mohammed will serve as interim captain as Stafanie Taylor is unavailable for the T20I series due to serving a period of isolation in Antigua, after being identified as a primary contact of a COVID-19 positive case in Jamaica.

DVN who missed the series against Pakistan and India with a back injury will be wearing the national colour after the T20 World Cup semi-final last March for the first time. Niekerk’s form with the bat will be crucial for the Proteas in this series. Her several match-winning knocks for Invincible in the middle order took the team to the knockouts. Her abilities to stable the inning as well as to hit the ball out of the park in the death, made her a deadly prospect for the side, the recently concluded tournament.  With 259 runs with a strike rate of 110, she was the highest scorer in the tournament. She also had 8 wickets with an economy of 6.

Lizelle Lee who has scored 215 runs for Manchester Originals and Laura Wolvaardt who has scored 181 runs will look to give South Africa blistering starts once again. While Mignon Du Preez or the engine of the South African side improved her strike rate in the middle order, it would be interesting to see the role of Wolvaardt. In recent times she had played more of a pinch hitters role at down the order. And the inclusion of Chole Tryon will give them an option in the bowling as well as a batter to trust in the death overs.

Kapp and Ismail who has been absolutely phenomenal in The Hundred will once again spearhead the South African bowling attack. Kapp scored 150 runs in 5 innings with a strike rate of 122. Took 6 balls to hit one boundary. Scored 37 in the eliminator and a partnership with Alice Capsey of 54 runs which turn out to be crucial. In the final scored 26 from 14.Besides she took 11 wickets at an average of 6.3 and has conceded 0.84 runs per ball.

This includes 3/21 from 15 balls in the eliminator ( wickets of Katie Mack, Eve Jones who highest run-getter for Phoenix and Erin Burns after which Phoenix collapsed.) In the final in her 18-13-9-4, she got rid of Wyatt (scored more than 200 runs), Dunkley ( 244 runs with a strike rate of 143, the highest for Brave) and Gaby Lewis star from Ireland in space of 10 balls. Southern Brave who looked invincible in the group stage ( lost only one match) was reduced to 2 for 3. The Final was sealed there.

Though Ismail picked up only three wickets, this fearsome fast bowler has conceded less than 1 run per ball. Along with her Mlaaba and Klass will be the bowlers that South Africa will look up to the rise in the occasion.

Moreeng, who has been the side’s head coach since 2012, said the participation of the seven South Africa players – Shabnim Ismail, Kapp, van Niekerk, Lizelle Lee, Tryon, Mignon du Preez, and Laura Wolvaardt – in the Hundred allowed for observing how they had been shaping up for the international season ahead.

The West Indies Women’s teams return to the field after a successful double series win over Pakistan women, where they took the CG Insurance T20I series 3-0 and the CG Insurance ODI series 3-2. The West Indies Women’s squad have been preparing in a high-performance camp in Antigua prior to the upcoming Series.

The West Indies Women’s squad have been preparing in a high-performance camp in Antigua prior to the upcoming Series. While they will miss Taylor, they will hope that Mathews continue her touch from the Hundred. Mathews scored 221 runs while picking up 11 wickets for Welsh Fire. Dottin, another West Indian player who was in that series did not do much with the bat except one match. While West Indian batting will revolve around these two batters like Chedean Nation, and Knight sisters need to take their a furthermore to assist them.

While they lag in the batting, Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman, the two fast bowlers can give trouble to the Proteas batters with the raw pace. Both of them are experienced and a quick couple of wickets in the shorter format of the game can change the complexion of the match. A lot will depend on Anisa Mohammed, the praised leg spinner in this series.

South Africa, which are yet to win a series in the West Indies, will get three days to acclimatize to the conditions after serving a three-day quarantine upon arrival in Antigua. Moreeng said the tour, comprising three T20Is and five ODIs, will be the perfect opportunity to implement the takeaways from their previous tour when they drew the ODI series against the hosts 1-1 and the T20I series 2-2 and were knocked out of the T20 World Cup in the league stage.

West Indies Squad: Anisa Mohammed (C), Deandra Dottin (VC), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman

South Africa Squad : Dane Van Niekerk (C), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondu Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas



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