Proteas Women fast bowler Shabnim Ismail says she and Marizanne Kapp are the best opening bowling partnership in the world.
The Proteas Women got their T20 World Cup off to a flying start with a comfortable seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.
The victory was set up by an outstanding bowling display from the experienced trio of Ismail (3-10, econ 2.50), skipper Dane van Niekerk (1-7, econ 2.33) and Kapp (1-13, econ 3.25), who ripped through the Sri Lankan batting lineup to restrict them to 99-8.
Ismail was delighted with the win and emphasised her bowling partnership with Kapp as key for the victory and expressed the importance of their flying start.
‘I always say that me and Marizanne Kapp go hand-in-hand in the bowling. I always told everyone that we are the best opening pair and accommodate each other very well, and the way we performed today expressed our talent out there.
‘I always speak about getting the momentum and hours [out there] and I think we have done exactly that today.
‘Although we lost two earlier wickets up front, there wasn’t any panic in the changing room, we just knew we were going to get this win. The way Marizanne and Dane capitalised in the middle showed a lot of character that just made it easy for us to get the win.’
The Proteas’ preparation did not go as planned in the warm-up matches as they lost all their games. Rain also hindered their training sessions. However, this win gave them a ‘positive mindset’.
‘In our meeting as we sat with our coach Hilton [Moreeng] and he told us, “This just might be our last preparation, we always have to be on the button and ready.”
‘Although the weather wasn’t on our side and we never had any practices – this was our first proper time out there in the middle – the way we displayed our talent and got the win out there was fantastic. There is a positive mindset in the camp now.
‘The four games we played, the batters always let us down but the way we capitalised today showed a lot of character. We must just keep backing the batters.’