It was runs a plenty on the opening day of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s Week with four batters recording a century or more, to get the tournament off to an exciting start in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
At University of Free State Oval, Angelique Taai hit 138 runs from 137 deliveries (23 fours, 4 sixes) to help Border to 263/5 in their clash against defending champions, Western Province (WP) at the end of their allotted 50 overs. She was helped along by Shafeeqa Pillay (49), who fell a run short of a half-century. No one else could achieve more than Momentum Proteas bowler, Ayabonga Khaka’s 15-run contribution as they set WP a solid target to chase.
It was national team batters, Andrie Steyn and Lara Goodall who shone for the WP. Steyn returned unbeaten on 100 off 103 balls, including 12 fours. It was her maiden century for her province and Goodall was equally impressive, hitting a 63-ball 74 runs (10 fours, 1 six), helping her side to a six-wicket victory with four overs to spare in the end.
At Vossies Field, Northerns served up a 187-run drubbing over hosts, Free State thanks to another Protea, Mignon du Preez, who scored 108 (122 balls) up front, setting up the Pretoria side’s 250-run total for the loss of six wickets. Nadine de Klerk and Delmi Tucker were also handy with the bat, adding 67 and 43 runs respectively to the competitive total.
The difference between the two teams was the Northerns’ bowling unit that saw another pair of national players, Odine Kirsten and Sune Luus, take three wickets each. Kirsten was outstanding, conceding just four runs in her eight-over spell, including six maidens. Luus was also impressive, yielding just 16 runs in her nine overs, which also comprised four maidens.
Free State were not equipped to deal with the onslaught. The highest run scores came from Izel Cilliers and Michelle Burt, who could only manage 13 and 11 respectively, seeing their side slump to 63 in 34 overs.
In the third clash of the day, North West got their tournament off to a positive start when they comfortably beat Boland by 45 runs with three overs to spare.
The former posted 219/7 after they were put in to bat first. Proteas opening batter, Lizelle Lee set up the innings with a well-struck 73 runs off 66 balls before fellow national player, Sinalo Jafta and Anneke Bosch added vital contributions of 43 and 40 respectively to get their scorecard.
Boland’s innings did not go as smoothly in spite of an inspired century from opener, Alicia Smith (100 off 112, 17 fours). Her effort was even more impressive considering that three of her top order batting partners, Simone Marais, Jolene Hendricks and Stacey Lackay all fell for ducks before Faye Tunnicliffe (21) made an effort to keep Smith company for 51 deliveries. It was downhill from there however, as the Boland batters struggled to keep their wickets intact.
Evodia Yekile was the chief destroyer for North West, returning figures of 3/27 in 10 overs, including two maidens. Raeesa van der Westhuizen chipped in with 2/24 in eight to help dismiss the opposition for 174.
In the last match of the day, Proteas speedster, Shabnim Ismail claimed the first five-wicket haul of the tournament to help Gauteng to a 207-run routing of Eastern Province. Ismail’s eight-over spell included four maidens while she conceded just 10 runs to see EP skittled out for a scant 42 runs (23.5 overs) as they attempted to chase Gauteng’s 249/7.
Earlier in the match, opener and fellow Protea, Trisha Chetty scored top scored with 69 runs from 80 deliveries, with Alysia Rudolph and Robyn Searle adding a respective 44 and 43 runs to get the Johannesburg side to 249/7.
Live scoring of all matches will be available at www.websports.co.za.
Pool A Pool B
Western Province Free State
Gauteng North West
Eastern Province Boland
Day 2 Fixtures
Border vs Gauteng – St Andrews
Northerns vs North West – UFS 3
Eastern Province vs Western Province – UFS 4
Boland vs Free State – UFS Oval