South Africa need quick solutions against fearless England to keep pride intact
For teams that are separated by just one ranking spot and one rating point in ICC’s ODI rankings, the chasm in the quality of performances that South Africa and England have put so far in the ODI series has been huge. England have been completely untroubled and have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead, with Emma Lamb, Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt, and Issy Wong turning in match-winning displays.
What’s at stake?
England have already sealed the series comfortably and with this series not being a part of the ICC Women’s Championship, they might look to give Danni Wyatt and Amy Jones a go higher up the order, with the Commonwealth Games coming up.
South Africa’s bowling attack has appeared worrying toothless with the new ball and in the middle overs. They have badly missed the services of their regular captain Dane van Niekerk, who generally controls the middle overs for them and provides crucial breakthroughs.
Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka have also come under the pump and have not been at their best with the ball in the series so far on what have largely been very good surfaces for batting. Both Kapp and Khaka have only picked one wicket each so far in the series while conceding runs at economy rates of 6.73 and 7 respectively. South Africa would want more from two of the most experienced bowlers in their line up.
Players to watch out for:
Tammy Beaumont: England opener Tammy Beaumont has not done much wrong in the last five years. Inspite of that, she was surprisingly omitted from England’s squad for the Commonwealth Games as well as the T20Is against South Africa.
She got a 50 in the second ODI and looked good for a big score before falling for 67 after failing to capitalise on a full toss. That dismissal would disappoint her, as would her omission from the squad for the CWG and Beaumont will be hungry to prove a point and show that she still remains England’s best opener in this format.
Marizanne Kapp: South Africa’s X factor, Marizanne Kapp has had a largely subdued time with the ball right through this England tour. With the bat though, she has been in exemplary form and has waged a largely lone battle for South Africa, both in the one-off Test as well as the second ODI.
She ran out of partners in the second ODI as well as in the Test and South Africa might be well served to consider bumping her up a spot in the batting order, with captain Sune Luus struggling for both form and confidence on this tour so far.
- Issy Wong became the first England bowler in over a decade to take three wickets on ODI debut in the second ODI.
- Sophia Dunkley became the seventh England batter to score a hundred from no. 3 in ODIs.
- Charlie Dean joined Ayabonga Khaka as the only bowler to take two four-fers in ODIs in 2022.
South Africa have struggled in both departments so far but they might look to stick to the same playing XI and give the players another opportunity to make their mark on what has been a difficult tour largely.
England rested Katherine Brunt and Kate Cross in the second ODI and they might choose to do the same with the series already sewed up and a busy summer of cricket coming up.
England: Tammy Beaumont, Emma Lamb, Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight (c), Danielle Wyatt, Amy Jones (wk), Charlie Dean, Sophie Ecclestone, Issy Wong, Lauren Bell
South Africa: Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Lara Goodall, Suné Luus (c), Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty (wk), Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba