Protea women ready to take on White Ferns in white ball series
The South African women’s cricket team head into the upcoming white ball series against New Zealand fresh off a topsy-turfy tour in Pakistan in which they lost the T20 series 0-3 but came back to win the ODIs 2-1.
After struggling to deal with the conditions on the sub-continent, the Proteas now have home-ground advantage over the White Ferns in the three ODIs and five T20s. The ODI series forms part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 campaign.
The series kicks off on Thursday with a warmup match between a South Africa XI and a New Zealand XI at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
The last time the two sides met was in February in Paarl at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup when South Africa bowled their opponents out for a record-breaking 67 to score a 65-run victory. Looking at the overall record however, the scales heavily tip in favour of the visitors, with New Zealand winning 11 out of 17 ODIs and 10 out of 13 T20s.
For South Africa, Laura Wolvaardt is still the interim captain while vice-captain Chloé Tryon makes a welcome return after missing the tour to Pakistan.
Wolvaardt told the media after the Pakistan series that taking on the captain’s role has been a learning curve.
“I’m lucky that I have a lot of senior players around me that are able to help me … It’s been a big learning curve for me. I haven’t done too much captaincy in recent years, so just to start afresh has been a lot to take in. But I think it’s gone all right.”
There’s been a lot of talk with the Pakistan and New Zealand tours taking place back-to-back, but according to Wolvaardt, this is not something that is troubling the team.
“We’ve had quite a long layoff since we last played in the T20 World Cup, so I’m definitely welcoming all the cricket we’re getting to play … We have a travel aspect to the tour as well because we’ll be moving around South Africa quite a bit, whereas here we were just based at one venue [in Pakistan].”
New Zealand have two debutants in their squad, Kate Anderson and Bella Armstrong. Anderson was chosen on the back of a strong domestic season that included the accolade of NZC’s Women’s Domestic Player of the Year. She will play in the ODI and T20 series while Armstrong will only feature in the T20s.
According to White Ferns coach Ben Sawyer it was a no-brainer picking Armstrong for the T20 series.
“Bella’s an exciting young prospect who hits the ball hard and is an outstanding fielder, so she’s got all the attributes that we want from a White Fern. We’ve got five T20 matches on this tour which is more than we usually get, so it’s a good opportunity for us to look at players who could potentially be part of our future World Cup campaigns.”
SOUTH AFRICA: Laura Wolvaardt (capt), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Lara Goodall, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Chloé Tryon, Delmi Tucker.
NEW ZEALAND: Sophie Devine (capt), Kate Anderson, Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze, Bella Armstrong, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
1st ODI - 24 September 2023 - JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
2nd ODI - 28 September 2023 - Pietermaritzburg Oval, Pietermaritzburg
3rd ODI - 1 October 2023 - Kingsmead Stadium, Durban
1st T20 - 6 October 2023 - Buffalo Park, East London
2nd T20 - 8 October 2023 - Buffalo Park, East London
3rd T20 - 10 October 2023 - Buffalo Park, East London
4th T20 - 14 October 2023 - Willowmoore Park, Benoni
5th T20 - 15 October 2023 - Willowmoore Park, Benoni