The Women’s T20I tri-series kicked off on a much interesting platter where South Africa came in to play with a breath-taking loss against India in the very previous match and West Indies were here on the back of a series loss against England at home.
With the differences and indifferences all stacked together, both the teams’ captains went out for the toss where Sune Luus won it for her team and chose to bat first, and there came the West Indies skipper, Hayley Matthews getting ready with the new ball. The first over started off well on a lighter note and ended with a boundary from the bat of Anneke Bosch. This streak was followed by Laura Woolvardt who stroke hard two consecutive boundaries in the next over.
The ground was about to be set for the African innings to solidify but a struggling Bosch handed her wicket over to Shamilia Connell in the fourth over. A huge blow for the African side amid the powerplay! On the other hand, Woolvardt continued her normal pace to score up and smashed the second ball of the fifth over for a smooth four. With a single and three doubles in the final over of the powerplay, Africans were 43 for the loss of 1 which marked a good start from the side.
Marizanne Kapp and Woolvaardt looked in good touch just as they lent each other some quick singles. Kapp and Luus seemed to be set right from the pavilion as they came up with sending the balls towards the fence as soaring waves.
Both looked in great touch as the coordination between them cemented with every single, double and boundary. The quality of running between the wickets they showed was worth watching. The eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth over witnessed some splendid encounters of buttered batting as each of the overs gifted a boundary to both the batters, Luus, Kapp and again Luus in the thirteenth. And this continued till the seventeenth over where the Africans stood at a sustainable score of 116 for the loss of 2.
But that rain of runs finally saw a halt with two consecutive wickets in the very next over when Indies skipper Matthews bounced back tremendously with two thumping wickets of both Kapp (52 off 43) and Luus (30 off 26), the former on the second ball and the latter on the fifth ball. This turned out to be a big blow and jolt for South Africa that hit the momentum of scoring runs that brought just a single boundary on the fourth ball of the last over that too after Chloe Tryon getting bowled out by Connell. The African innings summarized at 141/5, still looked defendable.
In a hope of putting an end to the losing streak, West Indies sent their opening partners Matthew and Britney Cooper to chase down the total of 142 which started well with a thumping boundary on the very first ball of the innings that came from the bat of the Indies skipper, the second one came on the third of the second over. Cooper too put a doubled confidence of smashing two boundaries in the third over, thus rampaging the African defence. But Cooper’s contribution remained short-lived as she got dismissed at the end of the powerplay with adding 15 runs on the board for her team.
From the other end, Matthews tried to pull the innings well with Rashada Williams but the running between the wicket fell short to Tucker’s throw as the latter ran out by Mlaba. And this dismissal brought a rain-pour of two more back-to-back wickets, Matthews (23 off 35) and Shabika Gajnabi getting a LBW and a duck simultaneously. Midway of the innings, West Indies froze the scoreboard at just 45 at an expense of its top and middle order.
The West Indian innings seemed to struggle with only singles and doubles being added on the board by Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation before the former departing on a caught-and-bowled delivery by Tryon in the thirteenth over followed by Mlaba’s breath-taking delivery that bowled Nation out on the first ball of the fifteenth over.
After much ado, Connell hammered back into the game with a much-awaited boundary in the sixteenth over and the match’s first maximum on the last ball of the seventeenth over that cleared the long-on but she too got succumbed to Ayabonga Khaka at the end of the eighteenth over followed by Afy Fletcher’s dismissal in the next over. This marked another loss added in the streak for West Indies as they concluded the game at 97 for the loss of 8.