Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp shine as South Africa go 1-0 up in the series

Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp © Getty Images

Lizelle Lee’s swashbuckling half-century followed by Marizanne Kapp’s three-fer meant that South Africa trumped West Indies by 50 runs in the second T20I on Thursday (September 2). With this victory, South Africa went 1-0 up after the first match was abandoned due to rain.

Lee and Kapp had added 69 runs for the second wicket. The latter was struggling to keep up with the pace of Lee but had managed to play the anchor role well till then. Kapp was batting at 24 runs from 31. With just 18 balls left in the innings, Kapp had to accelerate. When Hayley Matthews came on to bowl the 18th over, she rocked back and pulled the off-spinning allrounder over deep mid-wicket. It seemed like flying towards the boundary, only for Britney Cooper to make an interception and take a stunning catch. 

Kapp was back in the pavilion. Lee kept the innings going by smashing Matthews for a boundary off the very next delivery. However, the West Indian had the last laugh as she cleaned up Lee for a 52-ball 75. South Africa were down to 126 for three. The hosts had two new batters – Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits – in the middle. It was an opportunity to tighten the screws and restrict them to a competitive total. Wolvaardt had other ideas.

She started with a boundary off Anisa Mohammed’s final delivery in the penultimate over. The final nail in the coffin came in the last over of the innings. The third delivery from Matthews was over-pitched, and Wolvaardt launched it over long-off for a six. The fourth delivery was a cut, copy, paste of the previous one, and the result was the same. The penultimate delivery went a tad straighter over long-on; she smashed the final ball of the innings from Matthews over deep midwicket, taking them to 165 for three. Wolvaardt finished with an unbeaten 33 runs off just nine balls.

Earlier, Mohammed won the toss and opted to bowl. South Africa openers Lee and Dane van Niekerk wasted no time taking the attack to the West Indies bowlers. The duo added 49 runs in the power play, with Lee playing the aggressor in the partnership. Together, they added 53 runs before van Niekerk got out for a 21-ball 23.

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Joined by Kapp, Lee tried to keep the momentum going for South Africa. They took some time early on to settle, but Lee picked up the occasional boundaries to maintain the run rate. Though Kapp was finding the fielders and struggling to rotate strike consistently, Lee brought up her thirteenth fifty in 39 balls at the other end. 

The South African opener went berserk after the milestone, smashing Shakera Selman for two fours and a six in the same over. When it seemed like they could run away with the game and finish the innings without losing any further wickets, Cooper produced a moment of brilliance in the field to dismiss Kapp.

Chasing over eight runs per over, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews tried to go after South African seamers from ball one. However, Kapp caught Matthews pulling off the front foot straight to the short mid-wicket fielder. 

Dottin fell shortly after trying to reverse sweep Nonkululeko Mlaba after hitting the left-arm spinner for back-to-back boundaries. Joined by Chedean Nation, Kyshona Knight tried to rebuild the innings for West Indies, but Mlaba bowled the latter for 13 runs from 22 balls. 

Kapp came back for her second spell and rattled the stumps to get rid of Kycia Knight. She followed it up with the wicket of Nation in her next over. Though Cooper tried to keep the chase alive with some boundaries, Ayabonga Khaka ensured that there wasn’t any twist in the tale, dismissing Cooper for a 15-ball 26. They eventually fell short by 50 runs, finishing with 115 for eight in 20 overs.

Brief Scores: South Africa 165/3 in 20 overs (Lizelle Lee 75, Laura Wolvaardt 33*; Qiana Joseph 1/17) beat West Indies 115/8 in 20 overs (Britney Cooper 26, Chedean Nation 26; Marizanne Kapp 3/31) by 50 runs

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