A fit-again van Niekerk is back to lead the side and can count on experienced hands in Kapp, Ismail and du Preez
Although South Africa Women only won eight out of the 21 games in the ICC Women’s Championship and finished sixth position, it impressed with series wins over India and Pakistan, and put up a fight against Australia and England. A better outing in the qualifier in Sri Lanka this February, where it finished second after losing to India in the final, ensured the team a berth in the ICC World Cup 2017 in England and Wales.
Dane van Niekerk, who recovered from a foot injury just in time, will lead the side for the first time at this level.
Bolstered by van Niekerk’s inclusion, the bowling looks the stronger suit for South Africa. Marizanne Kapp, who is currently the top bowler in the ICC Rankings, will likely share new ball responsibility with Shabnim Ismail, a genuinely quick bowler. In the middle overs, South Africa will rely on van Niekerk and the young Sune Luus to make inroads; both leg-spinners have impressive strike-rates.
Mignon du Preez and Trisha Chetty are two of its most successful batters in ODI cricket, and they should be backed by the all-round abilities of van Niekerk, Kapp and Luus. In Lizelle Lee and Chloe Tryon they have two of the most exciting batters right now, both big-hitters having strike-rates in the high 80s.
After reaching the final of the qualifier, South Africa put up another spirited performance in the quadrangular series at home. Its openers came good as it piled up scores of 300 or more on two occasions. On its way to the final, it defeated India once, but again couldn’t clear the final hurdle as the batting collapsed against Jhulan Goswami and co. in the decider.
PREVIOUS WORLD CUPS:
South Africa has participated in five World Cups so far, since its first time in 1997. Its best finish came in the 2000 edition when it lost to Australia in the semi-final. In the last World Cup, although the team qualified for the Super Six stage, it won just two games out of seven and finished sixth.
Dane van Niekerk recently joined the club of those with 1000 runs and 100 wickets in ODIs. In 78 ODIs, she has 105 wickets, the most by any South African bowler. As the ball isn’t swinging much this English summer, her leg-spin could be vital. A handy middle-order batter, she has scored 1347 runs at an average of 32.85.
Dane van Niekerk (capt), Trisha Chetty (wk), Moseline Daniels, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Shabnim Ismail, Nadine de Klerk, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Raisibe Ntozhake, Mignon du Preez, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt
25 June: Pakistan Women v South Africa Women in Leicester
28 June: South Africa Women v New Zealand Women in Derby
2 July South Africa Women v West Indies Women in Leicester
5 July: England Women v South Africa Women in Bristol
8 July: South Africa Women v India Women in Leicester
12 July: Sri Lanka Women v South Africa Women in Taunton
15 July: South Africa Women v Australia Women in Taunton