HomeWomen's CricketProteas in 2019: Some Of The Best Moments

Proteas in 2019: Some Of The Best Moments

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2019 was a year that brought mixed fortunes to the Proteas women. They are a side that plays with all the heart, combining a sense of aggression and passion, coloring the game ultimately with a certain element of thrill.
While the side suffered heavily in the absence of big impact players, such as seasoned captain Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon, both of whom didn’t feature in the better part of the season due to injuries and the period of subsequent recoveries, it wasn’t that there wasn’t any substantial gain for the Proteas.
While 2020 would clearly leave a big action plan in front of the Proteas; i.e., to improve their game in the shortest format, having lost 3 games in their tour to India, while 2 to Pakistan where they played hosts, there were bright performances in the 50-over game.
South Africa hammered Sri Lanka right at the start of their 2019 season, where a 3-nil series win highlighted both form and intent.
But the team that lost mightily to India in ODIs, finding their resources tested fully upon their arrival in the subcontinent, did enjoy a thriller of a series against Pakistan back in South Africa.
2019 was a year that showcased some of the best that Lizelle Lee’s brute blade had to offer, a touch of class from young Laura Woolvardt, someone in whose batting the promise of the future lies, an exhibition of controlled, disciplined bowling from rising middle overs asset Masabata Klaas, and the strength that Mignon du Preez’ batting still offers in the middle order, indicated by her strong performances against Sri Lanka and India, later on.
But what were the best moments for Proteas women in 2019?

Dane van Niekerk’s maiden ODI hundred

best moments for Proteas women in 2019
Dane van Niekerk missed nearly the entirety of the Poteas cricketing season this year due to injury. Surely, watching live proceedings from the sidelines would’ve been a task. But just before her injury, Niekerk scaled perhaps her most important ODI landmark.
Giving South Africa early initiative in the 3-match series against the Sri Lankas, van Niekerk’s stroke-filled, effective maiden ton, a knock that yielded 102 watchful runs handed her team rose to a 7-run victory in the end.
Even though, her knock initially was largely composed of singles, Niekerk, steadied the partnership with Steyn, cut loose later on, stamping her authority on the game through a flurry of boundaries.
For any batswoman, regardless of format, scoring a maiden hundred is always special. That Niekerk’s came in the form of an energized win for her side certainly made the moment among the best moments for Protas women in 2019

Starring in one of the best ODI series of 2019, against Pak Women

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best moments for Proteas women in 2019
One of the best moments for the Proteas women in 2019 came at the back of a rather closely contested and thrilling series wherein they were tested and also succeeded in triumphing, in parts, against nearly identically competitive sub-continental forces- Pakistan.
While they held Pakistan to a 1-1 result at the end of the 3-match ODI series, captain Sune Luus starring with a personal best score of 80 against Pakistan in the 3rd ODI, helped by Klaas’ composed and focused medium pacers, yielding a 3-for in a tied match, the T20s brought different fortunes altogether.
But the batswoman who stood tall against the likes of Sana Mir, Diana Baig and others was the opener- Laura Woolvardt, who smoked 134 runs from just 3 games, including 2 fifties.
The three T20 were closely contested where the likes of top-order specialists – Brits and de Klerk produced the goods with the bat, as the experienced Lizelle Lee led from the front in making the Proteas women clearly the better of the two batting units.
A combined bowling effort led by the experienced Shabnim Ismail, the tricky Moseline Daniels, who clinched a vital 3-for in the 3rd T20 and Klaas, who had a standout series against Pakistan took South Africa over the line.
But that the hosts were on the backfoot, having lost the T20 series opener, and yet went onto curtail a Pakistan spurred by Nida Dar in hot-form made the contest one of the best moments for Proteas women in 2019.

Lizelle Lee’s mighty consistent T20 exploits

best moments for Proteas Women in 2019
If there was one batswoman who, it could be said, had an outstanding year with the bat, then it was the experienced top-order trailblazer- Lizelle Lee. Lee, a calm, unflustered competitor, who truly combines the exuberance of Sehwag and the destructive abilities of a Maxwell, plundered lots of runs against most teams she played against this year.
Whether it was her quickfire 40 off just 43 in the 2nd ODI against Pakistan or her massacring of the side in the shorter formats- that led to scores like- 56 in the 2nd T20, 60 off just 31 in the 4th T2o or her incredible remorseless hitting that led to 75 off just 48 in the 5th T20- Pakistan, it appeared, ran into Lizelle Lee.
Later on, during the tour to India, Lee continued her fine touch and led the attack in the only T20 where her team beat India. Starring with a fierce 84 off just 47 balls, Lee exerted might against both spin and pace and struck 15 boundaries in that T20.
That Lizelle Lee fashioned lone resistance, thumping Indian bowlers as if she was at war for her side, when Proteas batting would’ve wanted high consistency from a recognized quartet of batswomen, including Luus, du Preez, Woolvardt and Lee herself, made the right-hander’s feat among the best moments for Proteas women in 2019.

Inflicting the biggest T20 defeat on India, albeit as a consolation

best moments for Proteas Women in 2019
There weren’t many gains for South Africa on their tour to India where they were found wanting. Other than the experienced Mignon du Preez, who held the fort and seemed the only batswoman capable of thwarting the Indian attack, the rest of the batters seemed harmless and out of touch.
A change in format, post-South Africa going down comprehensively to India in ODIs, didn’t change much either. But all was not lost and the team exited India only after securing an important albeit consolatory win in the 6th and final T20, where,at the back of Lee’s attacking, belligerent 84, South Africa reached 175, a position of authority.
In the end, the bowling came good and Harman’s side, perhaps after winning constantly threw in the towel. The Proteas inflicted a 105-run defeat to India, the biggest margin of defeat for India ever.
The fact that the South Africans were able to inflict a defeat of a mammoth margin to one of the best-known sides in T20 cricket formed one of the best moments for Proteas women in 2019.

2 hat-tricks- Masabata Klaas vs Pakistan, Kapp vs Melbourne Stars, WBBL

best moments for Proteas Women in 2019
During the Second ODI against Pakistan at Potchefstroom, a contest where South Africa had to desperately make amends given their dismal outing in the series-opener, a breakthrough was reached thanks to 28-year-old medium pacer Masabata Klaas’ classy hat-trick.
In denting a severe blow to the Pakistani middle and lower order, Klass, not the fastest bowler in the world with the white ball delivered an exceptional breakthrough, stamping her authority in the game with stars like Ismail and Kapp in the side. Bowling to a standard off-stump line, Klaas combined a disciplined spell of accurate medium pace and measured aggression to deliver South Africa a triumph they’d awaited.
In taking 3 wickets of as many balls, Klaas first removed Aliya Raaz, then Umaima Sohail, and finally Sidra Nawzaz to claim her first ODI hat-trick and South Africa’s series-leveling victory.
In a completely different format, months later, Marizanne Kapp starred for the Sydney Sixers as she snatched a priceless hat-trick against a top-quality like in the WBBL: Melbourne Stars. Putting all that pace to good effect in her rhythmic run-up, Kapp, who remained ‘stony-faced’ despite clinching the fourth-ever hat-trick of the WBBL, as she removed Madeline Penna, Nicola Hancock, and Holly Ferling, respectively.
These two mighty-effective hat-tricks, although earned in completely different situations formed one of the best moments for Proteas women in 2019.

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