The Women’s ICC championship continues with rich fervour, bringing unbridled enthusiasm for fans and supporters of the women’s game. After the world saw an enthralling and fitting finale to the recently completed 2018 Women’s Asia Cup, action in the women’s lair of the game moved onto the White Ferns taking on Ireland’s Women’s.
We saw the destruction that came calling. Records tumbled; sixes flew like flying bullets in a battlefield as Kiwi women flew away with some outstanding individual and team performances. At the same time, SA women discovered that Eng Women were a tough nut to crack in an unsuccessful ODI series.
But there’s retribution on offer. Having being splintered badly by Eng women, can SA Women mount a T20 comeback? There’s just one problem: NZ Women, aka, the White Ferns are in it too. And as on June 20, 2018- have fired the opening salvo, going one up over SA Women in the Women’s T20I Series, 2018.
That said, who are the key 7 players that will bring a lot of interest and promise to the hotly-contested ongoing Tri-Series?
A brave batswoman who can smash the leather, reducing it to smithereens, Tammy Beaumont is to England Women’s side what a Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur are to India.
A flashy, gritty accumulator of runs, Beaumont brings her fantastic ODI form into the current T20 competition, where her back-to-back centuries slumped the SA Women to the point of no recovery. Opening the T20 order alongside Danielle Wyatt, if England is to fire big runs, then Tammy Beaumont will have to bring out her A-game, of which there seems to be little doubt.
Dane Van Niekerk
There’s practically nothing that the charismatic SA Women captain Neikerk cannot do. Of late, the successful leg-spinner, who’s hard to score on in limited-overs cricket has begun placing the ball unfailingly to the covers and been a central force behind some smashing hits.
Fresh from a fantastic, albeit valiant 95 against England that ended up on the losing cause, Dane Van Niekerk will expect the key support from the likes of the experienced and technically sound Mignon Du Preez and, Chloe Tyron to bring up the runs whilst there will be hopes on the troika of Kapp, Ayabonga and, Ismail to contain the free-flow of runs.
The vanguard of England’s wicketkeeping, and for the lack of a better word, an ace with the bat in hand, Sarah Taylor is defined by as much excellence as she’s by her will to succeed.
Having enjoyed a successful ODI-series against South Africa, she’ll be expected to amass valuable runs in the middle order. An excellent keeper and someone who’s famous for her lightning-fast reflexes, Taylor, who’s affected some uncannily brilliant dismissals will be a key factor in the ongoing tri-series.
Ever-smiling, ever competitive, there’s an inspirational leader and a charismatic batswoman in Bates.
Recently, it wasn’t a great idea when the Irish began to bowl at Suzie Bates in the first of the three limited-overs ODI. The end result was a team score of 490, of which Bates had contributed 151. No ground is smaller and no boundary out of sight when this belligerent bat begins to exert her presence in the game.
SA women and Eng women would be focused to pitch the ball right up straight into areas that restrict Bates from freeing her arms. The spinners, some the world’s best in the series- Dane Van Niekerk, Luus and others will have to do a neat job to keep Bates quiet, who’s been in menacing form all throughout since March 2018, starting from the Windies’ tour to New Zealand, where Bates and girls would whitewash an unassuming band of cricketers.
Among the cleverly foxy names in the sphere of spin and a pretty handy batswoman in the lower-middle order, it would be a misnomer to take Kasperek lightly, who recently contributed with the bat, raising her maiden ODI ton against Ireland Women’s in the record-breaking fest in Dublin.
Having consistently been featuring among the wickets, her memorable 3-for’s and 4-for’s against the Windies and Ireland would make this bespectacled gem of the White Ferns outfit a key contestant to watch out for.
Can she deliver in another Kiwi rout? There’s a mighty chance as the off break specialist clinched 5 wickets from the 3 ODIs recently.
A tall, burly medium pacer, Brunt’s the lynchpin to England’s pace bowling hopes. Having sat out for the majority of the season, starting 2018, missing out on the tri-series earlier in India, the current contest might be a perfect opportunity for the English veteran to mount a promising comeback.
Having picked 6 wickets in the just-concluded ODIs versus SA Women, Brunt’s with her medium pacers seems ready to roll. But can she make a successful outcome in the T20s as well?
Mignon Du Preez
The wonder woman for South Africa with the bat, it’s about time that runs began flowing from this vastly experienced campaigner. There’s no dearth of experience for Preez when it comes to contesting against top sides like England, having been the lonely warrior who waged the only battle SA women would mount in their heart-breaking semi-final loss in the 2017 world cup.
Having begun the series with a promising 36, Mignon Du Preez has begun what seems a daunting series for the Protea’s women well. But a lot for her top-heavy Protea’s Women’s side will depend on the technical proficiency of this bright competitor to contribute key runs.
Can South Africa ride high on Preez’ batting exploits?