South Africa punished Sri Lanka at Taunton in the twenty-second match of the Women’s World Cup on July 12, 2017 by registering an 8 wicket win. Before the match, South Africa were at number 5 in the standings table with 7 points, having won three out of their five matches. The top five teams have been locked in a fierce battle for a semi-final spot, which made this a must-win game for South Africa. Sri Lanka, however, were scraping at the bottom of the points table with zero wins and no chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
It was a thorough performance from the Proteas as they bowled out Sri Lanka for a small total of 101 runs. The bulk of the wickets were taken by the electrifying Shabnim Ismail and consistent captain Dane van Niekerk—both took 7 wickets between. The damage began in the second over when Marizanne Kapp took the important wicket of Chamari Atapattu who had been the second highest run scorer in the tournament. The third wicket stand was the most prolific for Sri Lanka as Prasadani Weerakkody and Chamari Polgampola put together 43 runs from 14.5 overs. However it was van Niekerk’s breakthrough in the nineteenth over to dismiss Weerakkody that set off the collapse. Polgampola also fell three balls later and the score was stood at a worrying 49 for 4. Dilani Manodara made a valiant 25 from 49 balls as other batters around her were out before they could even reach double figures.
South Africa comfortably chased own the total in 23.1 overs. The Proteas lost their opener, Lizelle Lee, in the first over when she edged a ball off Sripali Weerakkody’s bowling. It was smooth sailing from there though as Laura Wolvaardt saw her team to the end of an unusually small run-chase. Her partnership with Mignon du Preez ensured that South Africa now sit comfortably in the points table with a net run rate of 1.72.
It’s been a disappointing tournament for Sri Lanka and hopefully when they meet Pakistan, who also remain winless, both teams can make a match out of it and end another otherwise disappointing world cup on an exciting note. As for South Africa, a win and a boost to their NRR is the best possible outcome they could have hoped for from the match. Given how much qualification hinges on net run rates, they’ll be happy to wrap up early enough to catch the other two games happening today.
Sri Lanka v South Africa ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
In a match where a total of 205 runs were scored by both teams, we aren’t spoilt for choice when it came to the best batter. Nevertheless, Wolvaardt’s confident 48 runs from 66 balls was not only a treat to watch but very important for her team as she negotiated a small total and a tricky pitch expertly to give her team a good margin for victory.
Captain Dane van Niekerk has been having a great tournament—going into the match as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament—and this game was no different as she led her girls from the front as she took an impressive 4 for 24 runs. Breaking the key third-wicket partnership with her two wickets in the 19th over, van Niekerk set the stage for a comprehensive win.
Dane van Niekerk ends Chamari Polgampola's resistance