Van Niekerk, Ismail shine as Proteas women qualify for World Cup semi-finals

TAUNTON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: South African players celebrate the wicket of Chamari Polgampala of Sri Lanka during The ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at The County Ground on July 12, 2017 in Taunton, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

TAUNTON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: South African players celebrate the wicket of Chamari Polgampala of Sri Lanka during The ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at The County Ground on July 12, 2017 in Taunton, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Captain, Dané van Niekerk and Shabnim Ismail took seven wickets between them, setting up an eight-wicket victory for the Momentum Proteas in their must-win, ICC Women’s World Cup match against Sri Lanka at the County Ground in Taunton on Wednesday. This win means that the South Africans have qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament for only the second time ever. The last time the team achieved this feat was at the 2000 edition of the competition.

Van Niekerk is delighted with this accomplishment, she said;

“This is what we have been working so many years for and I’m so proud of the team for all the work they have put in. We can tick this box now and celebrate the fact that we have achieved one of our objectives going into the competition with a match to spare.

“There’s still a game against Australia that needs to be won in the round-robin stage though, and we have a long competition still to get through and we’ll be focussing on that too.”

Sri Lanka, who remain winless in the competition, were restricted to 101 thanks to the South African skipper and consecutive Player of the Match, who returned remarkable figures of 4/24 in eight overs, while Ismail was equally impressive with 3/14 in 7.3. Sri Lanka could not contend with the rampant Proteas, Dilani Manodara and Chamari Polgampola managed an equal high score of 25 from 49 and 61 balls respectively before their dismissals.

Suné Luus, Marizanne Kapp and Masabata Klaas, who played her first World Cup match, were the other wicket contributors, taking a respective 1/12, 1/13 and 1/17.

The Proteas’ chase began with the wicket of the team’s leading run scorer, Lizelle Lee off the fourth delivery of the innings, she was caught behind off Sripali Weerakkody (1/22) without scoring. The only other wicket to fall was Trisha Chetty, who was clean bowled by Sri Lanka captain, Inoka Ranaweera (1/20) for 13.

Eighteen-year-old Laura Wolvaardt (48* off 66) led the chase with patience and maturity and, along with Mignon du Preez (38* off 53), helped the side reach their target with 161 balls to spare.

South Africa’s sights will be set on Australia, whom they will face at the same ground on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 8 from 11:15 (SAST). Live scoring will be available on Cricket South Africa’s social media platforms; Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).

Momentum Proteas ICC Women’s World Cup squad:
Dané van Niekerk (capt, Eastern Province), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal), Trisha Chetty (wk, Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Odine Kirsten (Northerns)*.

*Odine Kirsten has replaced injured Andrie Steyn.

Management
Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager), Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach), Russell Clarke (Fitness Trainer), Abram Ramoadi (Video Analyst), Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison).


ICC WWC 2017 Notes

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup (WWC) is taking place in England from 24 June to 23 July 2017. Financial services and Financial Wellness company Momentum are the single title sponsors of the South African women’s team, known as the Momentum Proteas. This will be the 11th ICC WWC. Eight teams qualified to participate in the 2017 tournament – listed in order of ranking:

1. Australia
2. England
3. New Zealand
4. India 5. West Indies
6. South Africa
7. Pakistan
8. Sri Lanka

Proteas Match schedule

• SA v Australia Saturday 15 July 2017 The Cooper Associates Country Ground Taunton

• Semi-finals Tuesday 18 July Country Ground Bristol
Thursday 20 July Country Ground Derby
• Final Sunday 23 July Lord’s London


Handles and Hashtags #WWC17 #proteaswomen
• ICC @ICC
• CSA: @OfficialCSA
• Momentum: @Momentum_za