WP North West to face-off in National Women's Week final

WP North West to face-off in National Women's Week final
WP North West to face-off in National Women's Week final
©Cricket South Africa

Laura Wolvaardt continued her excellent batting form and Anneke Bosch produced a fine, all-round performance to help Western Province (WP) and North West secure their places in the final on Day Four of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Women’s Week in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

KwaZulu-Natal Coastal (KZN) and Gauteng also sealed their spots in next season’s CSA Women’s Provincial League ‘top six’ with victories over Border and Boland, respectively.

In an unprecedented occurrence where three of the four semi-final teams are under the tutelage of female coaches who possess Level-3 coaching qualifications, the two matches were set to be a spectacle. North West were the first side to book their place in the final following a convincing eight-wicket victory over hosts, Free State.

After a solid start by Free State at the crease, putting on 53 runs for the opening stand between Yolandi Potgieter (37) and Sonja Rheeder (22), Bosch struck three crucial blows to leave them 82/3. That sparked a massive collapse from the home side as seven wickets fell for just 31 runs. Alyssa Erxbleben (3/21) and Tumi Sekhukhune (2/9) combined to deadly effect, dismissing the home side for 113 in 45.4 overs.

In their chase, despite losing influential batter, Lizelle Lee (12), Tazmin Britz (51*) partnered up with all-rounder, Bosch (45*) for an 80-run, third-wicket to guide the 2017 champions to the final.

Western Province maintained their perfect record in the Week with a solid, 22-run win over a talented Northerns outfit. After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Wolvaardt got her side off to an idyllic start thanks to her knock of 94 off 114 deliveries (6 fours, 1 six). Her performance, assisted by Lara Goodall’s 31 off 51 balls took the Cape Town side to a competitive 211 all out in 47.3 overs.

Nadine de Klerk was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4/36 in her 10 overs.

In reply, Northerns lost two quick wickets at the beginning of their innings before experienced campaigner, Mignon du Preez steadied the ship with a quick-fire half-century from 53 balls. The Proteas stalwart combined with fellow national team player, De Klerk (40) for a 49-run partnership before the latter was run out.

The team from Pretoria then went on to lose wickets at regular interval. Lara Goodall claimed 3/22, while Leah Jones (2/31), Tatum le Roux (2/39), and Robyn Appels (2/29) picked up two wickets each to restrict their opponents to 189 and seal their second final in as many years.

In the other matches, KZN sealed a five-wicket victory over Border thanks to Nonkululeko Mlaba’s superb return of 5/12 before Proteas all-rounder, Chloe Tryon (26*) and Dheyanka Naidoo (11*) ensured their side’s involvement in next year’s national division.

Elsewhere, Palesa Mapoo (41) and the Gauteng bowling attack earned them a straightforward six-wicket win over Boland, despite Alicia Smith’s valiant 53 off 81 deliveries.