Not for nothing did Shabnim Ismail claim that she and Marizanne Kapp are the best opening pair in world cricket, and the pair backed her claim up in style against world champs the West Indies.
It’s the sign of a true champion to walk the talk, and that’s exactly what Proteas pace bowler Ismail did against the West Indies Women in their Women’s World T20 clash in Gros Islet.
The Proteas star went out and proved her credentials once again in the crunch clash. Ismail knocked the heart out of the West Indies batting by dismissing the top three Windies batters, with Kapp once again bowling like a champion in tandem with her.
Ismail finished with figures of 3-12 (econ 3.00), which included the wicket of dangerwoman Stafanie Taylor for a golden duck. Perhaps inevitably, the Windies recovered from their rocky Ismail-induced start of 29-4 off 7.1 overs to post 107-7, a target the Proteas Women would have viewed as achievable, although they fell 31 runs short after losing nine wickets for 28 runs.
‘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,’ said Ismail earlier in the week.
Kapp conceded just two singles and a leg bye off the first over of the innings, after which Ismail was clouted for a six off her first ball by Hayley Matthews. Ismail fought back with two dot balls and then dismissed Matthews caught-behind off the fourth ball. She followed that up with the wicket of Windies skipper Taylor, also caught-behind.
Shemaine Campbelle slashed and missed at the hat-trick ball as Ismail finished her first over with two key wickets at a cost of six runs.
Hitting speeds topping 120km/h, Ismail bowled five dot balls in a row to Deandra Dottin at the start of her second over, before having the batter caught by Dane van Niekerk off the final ball of her over. The maiden wicket set the West Indies back to 22-3 off four overs.
Kapp bowled a maiden over to Campbelle and then Ismail concluded her opening spell by conceding just two singles off her third over, leaving her with the incredible figures of 3-1-8-3.
Ismail came back for the final over of the innings and ended proceedings with another brilliant over, restricting the West Indies to just four singles and a leg bye in a superb display of death bowling.
It was a bowling performance worthy of a memorable victory but, sadly, the Proteas Women were unable to close the match off as they lost by 31 runs.
Earlier this week, Shabnim Ismail boldly declared South Africa's pace attack "the best in the world" and tonight, she put her money where her mouth is taking 3/12 in a devastating display of T20 bowling 🔥🔥🔥 #WT20 #WIvSA pic.twitter.com/z8T7vSpF6v
— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 15, 2018
Photo: Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images