Lanning wary of South Africa firepower ahead of T20 World Cup

Meg Lanning with the World T20 trophy. ©ICC

Meg Lanning, skipper of Australia feels South Africa could be the potential dark horses for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held next year Down Under.

The recently concluded first-ever standalone Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) shed light on the performances of the few South African players, who had a good outing for their respective teams – Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon and Mignon du Preez to name a few.

“There are a few South Africans who played some really good cricket throughout,” Lanning told Direct Hit.

“That’s a pretty good top seven players for South Africa who all dominated at different times throughout the tournament.”

Kapp, who played for Sydney Sixers, had a fruitful WBBL. She picked up 15 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.02 and thus finished as the fifth-best for the tournament. She was also included in the WBBL team of the year. Kapp also showed her batting prowess by chipping in with some useful cameos.

Shabnim Ismail, who played for Sydney Thunder, was amongst the wickets, too, picking up 10 at an economy rate of 5.88.

The batting was headlined by Lee, Tryon and du Preez. Lee, playing for Melbourne Stars, struck the first century of the season. Tryon, of Hobart Hurricanes, with some lusty blows, finished as the second in the list of maximum sixes hit. With 404 runs, Stars’ du Preez took her batting to a different level. These in-form players will look to break the World Cup jinx in Australia for South Africa, who are ranked sixth in T20Is.

South Africa have England, Pakistan and West Indies in their group and their 2020 campaign will get underway against 2009 champions, England at the WACA Ground on February 23.

Lanning believes the experience of playing in the WBBL and getting used to conditions beforehand could well be an advantage to many international players.

“I guess there are positives and negatives to all our internationals playing in our competition,” Lanning reasoned.

“They certainly make it a better quality competition, but they obviously get the chance to see our players and play in our conditions. It will be a great battle in the World Cup. It’s certainly going to be high quality.”

The Australia skipper also marked Natalie Sciver and Amy Jones of England as the two key players for in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Jones and Lanning opened for Perth Scorchers and the duo had a good outing together stringing four 100+ run partnerships for the season.

“It was nice to get to know them a little bit more and bat alongside Jonsey for long periods as well.”

Jones notched up 391 runs which included three fifties in the 13 innings for the Scorchers.

“Hopefully she’s got all her runs out with the Scorchers and is a little bit quieter at the World Cup,” Lanning joked.

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