Saturday, November 28, 2020

CSA: Du Preez exploits help Stars soar in WBBL

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Three half centuries in her last four innings has propelled Mignon du Preez to fourth on the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) run-scoring charts as her Melbourne Stars team strengthened their grip at the top of the table.

The Momentum Proteas right-hander struck scores of 61, 57*, 40 and 55 over the last week, playing a key role in the three wins from four gained by her franchise.

Du Preez, 31, has taken over as the leading South African in the competition, ahead of Laura Wolvaardt, who began the competition well, but has since seen her form dip.

The pair are amongst eight national players featuring in the sixth edition of the WBBL, which is being hosted in Sydney this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Wolvaardt was in sensational form early on in the lucrative Australian league, but the last week saw her manage just one important contribution – a return of 36 – with her other three scores reading 3, 10 and 16.

The youngster has since slipped down to eighth on the list of run-scorers with an aggregate of 302 runs in 12 innings, compared to the 318 total in nine by Du Preez.

Local batter Beth Mooney heads the standings with 416 runs in 11 innings.

Elsewhere, Marizanne Kapp came back strongly following a health scare whilst playing for her team Sydney Sixers last week.

The all-rounder had to retire hurt seven days ago when batting against Perth Scorchers due to an elevated heart rate, a problem she has managed through her career.

But Kapp has returned well with strong showings in her next three games, claiming four wickets and hitting more than 30 runs. She is now also leading the way for the South African bowlers with nine wickets in 11 games.

Her Sixers team-mate and Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk also enjoyed a solid few outings, grabbing four wickets and striking 71 runs in four straight losses for the WBBL strugglers.

Nadine de Klerk’s Brisbane Heat are second on the competition standings, with the rookie all-rounder given two opportunities for her franchise – and sending down five economical overs.

Meanwhile, Shabim Ismail played all four matches for the third-placed Sydney Thunder in which she too was tidy with her spells without picking up too many wickets. The Proteas pacer has eight wickets thus far.

Chloe Tryon also played in all four games for Hobart Hurricanes over the last week without any stand-out performances, while Lizelle Lee finally came good with a vital 48 off 34 balls that helped Melbourne Renegades oust Adelaide Strikers. The other scores by the opening in the last few days were 12, 28 and 1.

The 2020/21 WBBL runs from October 25 to November 29, with Proteas employed by seven of the eight franchises.

The full list of Moment Proteas at WBBL 2020 are: Dané van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp (both Sydney Sixers), Shabnim Ismail (Sydney Thunder), Mignon du Preez (Melbourne Stars), Lizelle Lee (Melbourne Renegades), Chloe Tryon (Hobart Hurricanes), Laura Wolvaardt (Adelaide Strikers), Nadine de Klerk (Brisbane Heat).

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