Review | CWC22 | M#13- RSA v ENG | Kapp’s brilliance left England in search of their first win of WC yet
Written By: Ritwika Dhar
Picture Courtesy: Getty Images
Proteas' disciplined bowling was too much for the shaky English top-order
England’s batting has been very uncharacteristic in this World Cup so far that continued against the Proteas. They lost 3 wickets for 42 in just 11.3 overs. Promoting Wyatt up the order after Winfield-Hill's terrible form was a forced change that also didn't reap dividends. After losing Sciver in the 12th over in a bizarre fashion, Amy Jones joined Beaumont. After surviving the fiery opening spell from Kapp, both the batters played spin and pace well. Beaumont scored her 3rd consecutive fifty (62 off 97). Whereas, Jones finally found her form back after a string of low scores and played a gritty knock (53 off 74).
Both these two batters stitched a partnership of 107 runs. But Jones’ run-out brought a twist to the tale. The last 5 batters could only manage to add 68 runs in 12 overs and ended up on 235-9. But it wasn’t enough against the in-form and spirited South African batters. It was only the 2nd time that England couldn’t defend a 200+ score in World Cups.
Fielding: It’s either taking blinders or putting down the dollies
In this tournament, we have seen some brilliant catches taken and seen some easy ones being put down. And England is at the bottom of that list. In this match too, England dropped Laura Wolvaardt two times, missed some half-chances, and missed a stumping chance too. Wolvaardt pounced on it and went on to score her highest-ever World Cup score of 77. England has lost all their World Cup games so far and one of the biggest reasons has to be their butterfingers.
Unparalleled Kapp led South Africa to 3-0
From swinging the new ball, bowling slower ones, yorkers at the death, gun fielding, spearheading the bowling attack, to scoring valuable runs in the lower-middle order in a pressure situation, Marizanne Kapp can do it all. South Africa is blessed with a world-class bowling attack consisting of Ismail-Khaka-Klass-Kapp pace battery, spin variation of left-arm orthodox Tryon, and leg-spinner Luus. In the batting too, they have genius batters like Wolvaardt, Lee, Du Preez, Luus, Brits, Goodall. And banking on this sublime attack, South Africa has been able to pull off back-to-back three thrillers.
Despite having such a great team, this team lacks the balance that all-rounders Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp have provided. And in the absence of Dane, the responsibility is more on Kapp to strike that balance. They have all-rounders in Tryon and Luus. But on one hand, where Tryon is not in her best of forms with the bat, the other hand being the captain, Luus is reluctant to bowl which has affected the quality of her bowling heavily. So, Kapp becomes more essential to this team than ever.
Her 5/45 and 36 off 49 in the match was not only a historic victory over England in the World Cup after 21 years but also a perfect ointment for their loss against England in the semi-final of the 2017 World Cup.
Proteas lost a leader but found a host of leaders throughout all board
Before this World Cup, South Africa lost their regular captain Dane van Niekerk due to injury. But this Proteas team has evolved as a group so greatly that in the absence of one leader, they have erected leaders across the board. Where batting has been spearheaded by the mixture of fire and ice, openers Lee and Wolvaardt, experienced batter and former captain du Preez leads the pack of the middle-order. A keeper like Chetty who has the most no. of dismissals to her name in Women’s ODIs brings the world of experience with her behind the stumps. And their bowling is the most polished and experienced bowling attack of the tournament.
So, a young captain Luus, who always led this team with poise and precision in the absence of Niekerk doesn't have much pressure as everyone knows their roles.
The flawed tactics and pace-attack of the defending Champions
Such a well-rounded pace attack like England's failure in this World Cup needs a deeper analysis. The line and length of Brunt and Sciver have been very wayward. Shrubsole’s killing in-swing has also become a rare phenomenon. She has been very inconsistent and ineffective in the recent past. Kate Cross also has struggled outside England.
So, after this loss, England might have to go to Tash Farrant, the left-arm pacer who can offer some variety.
Last year's unbeaten team who didn't lose any bilateral games last year are struggling to find their footing this year. And mind you, England is not only winless in the World Cup, but also across all three formats this year.