West Indies aim to iron out chinks, claw back in the series

© Cricket West Indies

The common theme in South Africa’s tour of West Indies so far has been batting failures. The host batters are yet to come to party big time. Their only win so far – in the third T20I – was thanks to the Proteas’ batting failure.

In the first ODI, Hayley Matthews and Kyshona Knight, the openers, took time to get into the groove. They struggled against the pace and swing of Shabnim Ismail, who had not played the T20Is, and Marizanne Kapp. It meant that West Indies had just 12 runs on the board after first ten overs.

What will please the hosts to an extent is the return of Deandra Dottin, in a sense. With the bat, she looked a class apart, smashing 38 off just 36 balls. She meted out a mean treatment to Tumi Sekhukhune and also punished Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka when they were off their lines and lengths even for a bit. That Dottin did so when most of the others struggled with their timing tells a lot about her.

Later on, she also returned to roll her arm over for a couple of overs. With West Indies missing a key player in Stafanie Taylor, Anisa Mohammed will be happy to have the services of Dottin with the ball as well. Mohammed would also be glad with the returns of the spinners Karishma Ramharack, Qiana Joseph and herself. They kept the Protea batters in check even as South Africa seemed to be cruising towards the target. With the same squad at her disposal, West Indies could perhaps afford to give the same XI another go.

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For South Africa, the return of Dane van Niekerk to the 50-over side was also a positive one. She picked up a couple of wickets and then finished unbeaten to guide the tourists home. She also had a role to play in Dottin’s wicket as she stifled the Windies allrounder, only for her to fall prey to Sune Luus.

On her return to the XI, Ismail bowled just the four overs and it clearly is a sign of workload management heading into the Women’s World Cup early next year. Van Niekerk can afford to do that with the options at her disposal. Khaka, who went wicketless after the first ODI against India, has been back in form, picking up wickets in the T20Is as well as the first ODI.

South Africa only asserted the fact that they were the stronger among the two teams and West Indies will have to strive real hard in order to get back to winning ways. The day game on Friday (September 10) at the Coolidge Cricket Ground should be a good time to do so.

Squads

West Indies: Anisa Mohammed (c), Deandra Dottin (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Britney Cooper, Shamilia Connell, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta,Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas