Sunday bore witness to a couple of shambolic batting performances in the ICC Women's World Cup 2017. Not only did India bundle arch-rivals Pakistan out for a paltry 74 while defending a lowly 169/9 in Derby, but South Africa made a complete mockery of Windies in their fixture in Leicester.
The South Africans had got off to a winning start with a three-wicket win over Pakistan, before their fixture against New Zealand got washed out without a ball being bowled. While they were billed as favourites in the clash against the Windies, few had expected the latter to surrender the way they did.
At the helm of the South African domination was captain Dane van Niekerk, whose stunning figures of 3.2-3-0-4 made her the holder of a unique feat in international cricket, aside from playing a key role in bowling the opposition out for a meagre 48.
With the performance, van Niekerk became the first bowler in the history of international cricket — taking both women's as well as men's versions of the sport into consideration — to collect four or more wickets in an innings without conceding a single run. The closest that a male bowler has come in this aspect was Richie Benaud (3/0) against India back in 1959.
Following are some more statistics pertaining to van Niekerk's dominant performance with the ball:
— Niekerk’s bowling figures of 4/0 are the best bowling figures by a South African player in the Women’s World Cup.
— She also became the youngest captain (24 years and 49 days) to take a four-wicket haul in a Women's World Cup match. Incidentally, they are also the best bowling figures for a captain in the history of the showpiece tournament.
The Player of the Match, though, was awarded to Marizanne Kapp for her figures of 4/14. Kapp and Shabnam Ismail (2/16) led the destruction early in the Windies innings, getting rid of the formidable top order cheaply to reduce them to 16/5. The Stafanie Taylor-led side never were in the game thereafter, as they were shot out at little over the halfway mark in the innings.
South African openers Lizelle Lee (29 not out) and Laura Wolvaardt (19 not out) then blazed their way to the target in just 6.2 overs, bringing up the 50-stand in the process as well, which resulted in an easier-than-thought victory for the Proteas women.
Statistics courtesy Umang Pabari.