Wolvaardt records unbeaten ton to help WP to opening day victory
Laura Wolvaardt stood head and shoulders above the rest on Day One of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s National Week after scoring an impressive century to propel Western Province to a comfortable win over Free State on Monday in Bloemfontein. All of the day’s matches had a delayed start due to wet outfields following the previous night’s heavy rain.
The 19-year old dispatched two sixes and six fours on her way to a 100 not out off 99 balls in her team’s successful chase of a challenging 224/6 (42 overs) posted by the hosts thanks to half-centuries from Izabella Cilliers (83) and Yolandi Potgieter (67). Wolvaardt shared in a 75-run partnership with fellow Proteas women batter Andrie Steyn (33) before featuring in a crucial century stand with Nadia Mbokotwana (20*) to carry the defending champions over the line by six wickets with 12 overs to spare.
The home side will rue their substandard performance with the ball after conceding 54 runs in extras despite Sindiswa Kheni’s efforts of 2/45.
There were also big wins for North West and Northerns on the first day, while Boland held onto a narrow victory against Border in a shortened 20-over clash.
Proteas Women seam duo, Tumi Sekhukhune (3/15) and Masabata Klaas (3/20) inspired North West to a convincing ten-wicket thumping over KwaZulu-Natal Coastal (KZN) at the St Andrews Vossies Field. The pair’s six wickets reduced the KZN side to 90 all out after 40.1 overs. Captain Nondumiso Shangase top-scoring with a valiant 27.
Fellow Proteas, Lizelle Lee and Tazmin Brits made light work of the small total. Lee led from the front with a measured 47 off 57 deliveries (5 fours, 1 six), well-supported by her opening partner, Brits (38*) as North West cantered to the win within 16 overs.
Northerns had a similar result in their opening match. All-rounder Suné Luus nabbed three wickets for just eight runs to restrict Gauteng to 106/9 in their revised 46 overs. It was then that stalwart, Mignon du Preez starred with an vital 55 off 67 balls, including eight fours and a six to help her side to 110/4 after 33.3 overs and a six-wicket triumph over their Johannesburg-based opponents.
In the closest encounter of the day, Boland had Ezryn van Aswegan to thank following her heroics with the bat. The opener smashed an almost run-a-ball 56 (5 fours, 1 six) before she was forced to retire hurt, with the Western Cape outfit going onto end on 109/2 after 20 overs.
Despite the best efforts from Genevieve Fritz (37) and Moseline Daniels (22), Boland’s Michaela Hanekom shone with figures of 3/11 to restrict Border to 96/6 claim a 13-run victory.
Pool A Pool B
North West Western Province
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Free State
Day 2 fixtures (Tuesday, 26 March)
KwaZulu-Natal vs Northerns – CUT Tokkiepark
Free State vs Border – St Andrews Hickling
Gauteng vs North West – UFS 3
Boland vs Western Province – St Andrews Vossies Field