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IND v SA: “To Get That Close Is Obviously A Massive Confidence Booster”- Marizanne Kapp After 2nd ODI

In a match that will be remembered for its nail-biting finish and stellar performances, South Africa narrowly missed victory against India in the second ODI in Bengaluru. Despite the loss, Marizanne Kapp opened up in the post-match press conference and highlighted the positives, the learning curves, and the resilience of her team.

Familiar Territory and Strategic Partnerships

Kapp acknowledged the advantage of prior experience at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which influenced their strategy. “I think it really helps that we’ve played here before, so you know how good the wicket is, and everyone likes chasing out here,” she said. Her partnership with Laura Wolvaardt, affectionately known as Wolfie, was crucial.

“So when I joined Wolfie, I just thought let’s try and take it as deep as possible, even if we have to chase 100 in the last 10 we know it’s possible,” Kapp explained. This approach almost paid off, with the pair treating the final 20 overs as a T20 match, leveraging their familiarity with the outfield and pitch conditions.

Tough Day for Bowlers

Reflecting on the bowling performance, Kapp was candid about the challenges faced. “Today was a bit tough for the bowlers, we probably let them get a little bit too many runs if we’re being honest,” she admitted. “The way we’ve been bowling in the power play especially has been so good to see. Today we went for a bit bit runs back in but that’s what’s going to happen if you have two set padders in on this we get an outfield.”

However, she praised the powerplay bowling, despite conceding that the strong batting lineup of India exploited the conditions well. “The big thing in women’s cricket is in the past you would always assume you’re going to bowl teams out for 220 but on weekends and outfields like this sometimes it is going to be odd for the bowlers and like you saw we nearly chased 320.” The pitch and outfield were unforgiving, making it a day where containing runs was difficult, even for the most skilled bowlers.

Positives and Lessons Learned

Kapp highlighted several positives despite the narrow loss. “To get that close is obviously a massive confidence booster, especially moving forward now we know we can reach that total but in saying that I probably feel like after that first four and the last over it was our game to lose,” she noted. The critical moment in the final over, where the match was tantalizingly within their grasp, was a point of reflection.

“It’s definitely something we’ll speak about but in the future, if we could have maybe tried to get full fion strike there in the last over a bit more there’s a lot of things we could have done differently but again to come that close and after starting a little bit slower today there’s a lot of positives to take forward.,” Kapp stated, emphasizing the need to refine their strategy in clutch moments.

The decision to treat the last 20 overs as a T20 game was pivotal. “Once we reached that 20 overs left a mark, our actual words were, ‘we’re going to treat it as a T20 now’ and again in saying that we’ve played in the WPL [Women’s Premier League] here this year so we know our good the outfield and pitches so we knew if we stayed in there for long enough we would get close to that total,” she recounted. This mindset shift underscored their adaptability and willingness to take calculated risks.

Batting Strategy and Team Dynamics

Kapp’s insights into their batting strategy revealed a well-thought-out plan. “Well, first of all, it is a very good wicket to bat on. Early on there was probably a little bit in the wicket for our two bases but in saying that especially in this team it’s always going to be tough to find that extra bowler if someone like myself is not bowling because we’ve been used to having so many all-rounders with enough setup and now to find ourselves we’re almost looking for that fifth or sixth bowler is tough,” she said, acknowledging the conditions that favoured batters.

“It’s hard to hide out there if bowling is not your number one skill or if you don’t have a good day. So it was tough at stages but again without getting that close it’s a little playing field.” The team’s composition, with an emphasis on all-rounders, sometimes made finding that extra bowler challenging. This match particularly highlighted the difficulty of balancing the lineup on such batting-friendly pitches.

The natural synergy between Kapp and Wolvaardt was evident. “I think if you look at myself and Wolfie, it’s actually been a few times now where we’ve been out in the middle together,” Kapp said. Their complementary styles—Kapp taking on the aggressive role and Wolvaardt playing the anchor—demonstrated their understanding and mutual trust. “. I think we didn’t even have to speak about it. It’s just naturally it worked out that way that I’m going to be the aggressor and she’s going to take the time to learn the form,” she added.

A Boost for Women’s Cricket

Kapp emphasized the importance of such thrilling matches for women’s cricket. “It’s so good for women’s cricket,” she enthused, reflecting on the spectacle of the game. The contrast with their disappointing first ODI performance, where they were bowled out cheaply, made this high-scoring chase even more significant.

“We were a bit disappointed in our first ODI, being bowled out for 100 and something. That’s not a good display for women’s cricket. So much happier with today, even though we would have liked to win,” she admitted, appreciating the improved performance in the second match.

Looking Ahead with Confidence

With the World Cup on the horizon, Kapp sees this match as a confidence booster. “It’s a massive confidence booster for us. Now we know in the future, in women’s cricket. Now we know in the future, in women’s cricket, I feel like the women especially, they’ll always almost get a fright if they have to chase a score of 285-300,” she noted.

This near-chase against India proves that they are capable of handling high-pressure situations and large targets. “For us, moving forward, looking to the World Cup next year. Yeah, it’s pleasing, even though we would have liked to be the sitting on the winning side tonight.”

Kapp’s reflections underscore her pride in her team’s performance and the resilience they displayed. “Look, at the end of the day, that’s why I play cricket. For situations like that, I pride myself in, I believe that in those situations, usually I perform. Obviously, sometimes you’ll get a bit annoyed or upset, especially if you are tired. But no, look, that’s team sport,” she said.

The camaraderie and shared goals with Wolvaardt and the rest of the team are clear, setting a positive tone for their future endeavours. “The two of us enjoy batting together. Like I said, I feel like games like this and situations like this probably brings out the best in myself and Wolfie.”

She further elucidated, “Wolfie’s always been someone that works extremely hard. She prides herself in the batting. She’s still very young and I know a lot of times people can be critical of her strike rate or the way she bats, but we have to remember she’s still actually young. The way she has improved, I’m excited to see where she’s going to be when she’s my age.”

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