One of any cricket team’s greatest assets is when his or her best all-rounder is on the move.
South Africa has always reaped the benefits. Think back to Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener, Brian MacMillan, Hansie Cronjé, Clive Rice, Shaun Pollock and Mike Procter, who could swing any game with bat or ball.
The South African women’s cricket team boasts Marizanne Kapp, who has been the glue of this team for years.
Kapp was at her best in the first ODI against Pakistan on Friday night in Karachi.
South Africa smashed a colossal 292/4 in its allotted 50 overs. The Proteas bowled out Pakistan for 165 runs to win by 127 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The victory was thanks to the brilliant batting performances of Suné Luus (107*) and Kapp (100) who laid the foundation with a partnership of 183 runs for the fourth wicket.
The Proteas were not in a favorable position at 64/3, but Kapp and Luus swung the scales within 34 overs and batted the team in an almost unchallengeable position.
It was Kapp’s second century in 130 ODIs and she now boasts 2467 runs at a batting average of 31.22 per innings.
She already scored her first one-day hundred (102*) in 2013 against Pakistan in the World Cup tournament, which incidentally is the highest score yet by a South African in World Cup tournaments.
Kapp has already scored 1223 runs in 96 T20 matches at an average of 19.41 runs and she scored 212 runs in two Tests, with a highest score of 150, which is also the best by any SA women’s player.
But it’s not only as a batsman where she excels.
As a bowler, she has already taken 130 wickets (average 24.90) in ODI cricket and in T20 matches she has taken 77 wickets, at an average of 20.16.
Kapp, who also represented the Eastern Province as an athlete and in netball, is also one of the best fielders in the team.
She already made her debut in 2009 and is getting better and better as she spreads her wings in Australia, England, West Indies and India in ODI and T20 series.
The Proteas, who lost the T20 series 3-0 as they initially struggled to adjust to the strange conditions, have now hit their stride and could clinch the series in Monday and this coming Thursday’s final two ODIs… especially if Kapp is underway.