North West team with the Cricket South Africa National Women’s Week tournament trophy. © CSA

North West team with the Cricket South Africa National Women’s Week tournament trophy. © CSA

Lizelle Lee hit 84 runs and took four wickets, leading North West to a close, 16-run victory over Gauteng in the final of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Women’s Week in Bloemfontein on Monday.

The 2017/2018 champions were restricted to 174/9 at the end of their 50 overs thanks to Shabnim Ismail, who resumed her wicket-taking ways, returning notable figures of 4/20 from her 10 overs. Lee set up the innings well, her 84 runs coming from 117 deliveries with 10 fours and 2 sixes, while the rest of the batting order struggled on a testing wicket. Elriesa Fourie (32) and Tazmin Britz (21) were the only other batters to manage a start before they fell to Zante Steyn (2/29) and Ismail respectively.

Gauteng’s reply got off to a nightmarish start when they lost Nelmarie Botha (0) off the very first delivery of the innings from Anneke Bosch (1/29). A mix up between the batters saw the other opener, Trisha Chetty run out for 19, while Robyn Searle fell to Evodia Yekile (1/21) on 13 as Gauteng slipped to 35/3 in the 15th over.

Nonkululeko Thabethe brought a level of calm to the innings, grinding out 41 runs from 105 deliveries. She was eventually removed by Lee, followed by a double strike by Fourie (2/30) that saw the end of Ismail (22) and Steyn (0) off the next delivery.

Gauteng did their best to fight back, but it was difficult with Lee striking at the most crucial moments. She mopped up the rest of the tail-enders, bowling out the Johannesburg side for 158 with just three deliveries to spare.

Lee is delighted to have played so well during the duration of the tournament and is glad to have contributed to her team’s success.

“It’s been a really good season for me and I’m glad I could carry the form forward into the tournament when my team needed it the most,” she said. “We played good cricket throughout the week and at some stage or another, someone was always putting up their hand, either with bat or ball to make sure that we reached the final and also won it.”

Lee was deservedly named the Batter of the Tournament at the closing function of the tournament. She hit 379 runs in five matches, with a high score of 133 and an average of 75.8. Ismail was named the Bowler of the Tournament for taking a combined 14 wickets in five matches and returning best bowling figures of 5/5.

Preliminary squad for the CSA Women’s Quadrangular series. © CSA

Preliminary squad for the CSA Women’s Quadrangular series. © CSA

CSA Announce Preliminary Women’s Quadrangular Squad

Cricket South Africa (CSA) also named a 22-woman preliminary squad ahead of the CSA Women’s Quadrangular One-Day International (ODI) series that will feature India, Zimbabwe and Ireland in Potchefstroom from 07 to 21 May 2017.

With this being the year of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales, the selectors, led by Khomotso Volvo Masubelele believe that it is vital to have a pool of strong players to select the 14-woman squad that will take part in the series. The quadrangular will form part of the Momentum Proteas’ final preparation for the World Cup.

“This process has been three years in the making,” Masubelele said. “The preliminary squad named today is not picked just on the performances of this stand-alone competition (CSA National Women’s Week). We have been building towards this year, the quadrangular and ultimately, the World Cup for a long time and we have spent a lot of time identifying players that we believe are going to do well for the Momentum Proteas.

“Looking at the players selected, you will find a really good mixture and balance between youth and experience and their preparation for the quadrangular series can only serve us in good stead heading towards England in June.”

Preliminary squad for the CSA Women’s Quadrangular series

Dane van Niekerk (Eastern Province), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Anneke Bosch (North West), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Lizelle Lee (North West), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Nonkululeko Thabethe (Gauteng), Sune Luus (Northerns), Yolani Fourie (Gauteng), Elriesa Fourie (North West), Odine Kirsten (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Marcia Letsoalo (Northerns), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Trisha Chetty (Gauteng), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns).