SA wins ICC ODI Women’s Challenge

14 October 2010

South Africa’s women’s cricket team proved tough opposition on home soil as they put together an unbeaten campaign in the one-day international portion of the ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge, which ended in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

From Thursday, the six competing teams face off in Twenty20 competition.

A satisfied South African coach Yashin Ebrahim said in a statement: “The team has really impressed me with their performance in the ODI section of the tournament.

‘Drive, commitment and modesty’

“The drive, commitment and modesty they have shown throughout have humbled me, and I am proud to be their coach,” Ebrahim said.

“They wanted to prove to themselves that they could be the best, and they have succeeded in doing so and proving it to the rest of the world as well.”

Captain Cri-Zelda Brits led from the front and was South Africa’s best batter. Thanks to her strong performances during the event, she has risen two places in the latest Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Women’s Rankings, up to seventh.

‘I really enjoyed myself’

Trisha Chetty jumped 11 places to 17th after some strong performances at the top of the batting order. “I really enjoyed myself out on the crease,” she said. “I’ve been working hard and I believe I was due a good performance.

“I did as the coach has been telling us and I took responsibility for my game. I’m working harder at my keeping. I want to be the best I can be with that and I look forward to it,” said concluded.

Sunette Loubser, the leading bowler in the tournament, shot up 12 places in the bowling rankings, from 26th to 14th.

Never challenged

South Africa dominated their five ODI matches and were never really challenged. They opened their challenge with a 153-run thrashing of Sri Lanka and kept their foot on the accelerator throughout the rest of their matches.

Captain Cri-Zelda Brits was the star of SA’s innings of 228 for 8 in their 50 overs against the Sri Lankans, top scoring with 78.

Spinners Sunette Loubser and Dane van Niekerk then spun a web around the Sri Lankans, who stumbled to 75 all out, picking up 4 for 11 and 4 for 13 respectively.

Pakistan

Pakistan provided the opposition in South Africa’s second match. They managed only 123 all out after being put in to bat. Loubser shone again, returning figures of 3 for 19 from her 10 overs. Trisha Chetty, with an unbeaten 60, then guided South Africa to a seven-wicket victory with almost 20 overs to spare.

Ireland chose to bat first against South Africa, but batted at only 3.24 runs to the over as they totalled 162 for 6. Marcia Letsoalo achieved the astonishingly miserly figures of 1 for 12 from her 10 overs with the ball.

Captain Brits then struck an unbeaten 60 off only 64 balls and Mignon du Preez 66 not out as the hosts posted 163 for 2 in the 35th over to win by eight wickets with 94 balls in hand.

Toughest opposition

The West Indies, South Africa’s next opponents, were expected to provide the home team with their toughest test. It turned out that they were the the toughest opposition, but they came nowhere near stopping South Africa’s winning streak.

Batting first, the West Indians tallied 161 all out. Off-spinner Loubser starred with the ball once again, picking up 2 for 19 from her 10 overs.

Led by 43 from opener Shandre Fritz, South Africa responded with 162 for 4 to win by 6 wickets with 64 balls remaining.

The home side’s final game proved to be a cakewalk. They held the Netherlands to a measly 109 for 9 in their 50 overs. Loubser’s return on this occasion was 3 for 27.

Shandre Fritz then cracked an unbeaten 61 off just 59 balls and Trisha Chetty an undefeated 46 off only 48 deliveries to rocket South Africa to a 10-wicket victory with a massive 194 balls in hand.

Leading performers

Sunette Loubser, with 12 wickets in the five matches, led all bowlers and her average was an astonishing 7.84.

Cri-Zelda Brits was the third highest run scorer, totalling 182 at an average of 60.66, which was bettered by the West Indies’ Stefanie Taylor only.

Taylor’s figures were bolstered by the tournament’s top score of 147 in the Windies’ opening game against the Netherlands.

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