Teen Botha guides Province Women to T20 Challenge title

Published Apr 9, 2024


Zaahier Adams

The Western Province Women’s team engraved their status as the premier T20 team in the country with their fourth consecutive CSA T20 Challenge trophy at Newlands.

Claire Terblanche’s side have been the dominant force in the shortest format for a long time.

Having already secured an insurmountable lead in the standings, Province rubber-stamped their authority with an eight-wicket victory over the Titans in their final league match of the season.

The win highlighted Province’s immense depth as it was achieved without their Proteas stars Nadine de Klerk and Delmi Tucker, as well as SA Emerging players Lara Goodall, Faye Tunnicliffe and Kayla Reyneke, while captain Leah Jones was also ruled out through injury.

Instead, it was youngster Jemma Botha who took centre stage. The 16-year-old Grade 11 pupil at Wynberg Girls High School, who was recently named Player of the CSA Girls Under-19 Week and played for the Junior Proteas in last year’s ICC U-19 T20 World Cup, claimed 3-19 with the ball before guiding Province home with an aggressive 54 off 43 balls.

Botha received good support from both Netherlands international Babette de Leede (30 off 21 balls) and Saraah Smith (26 off 22 balls).

Province’s overall T20 campaign was, however, built around Tunnicliffe’s free scoring at the top of the order.

The 25-year-old has already played 13 internationals for the Proteas, but is now pushing hard for a recall to the national team and a possible spot in the 15-player squad for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh later this year.

Tunnicliffe finished as the second-highest run scorer in the competition behind Proteas and South Western Districts star Tazmin Brits with 225 runs at an average of 48.71.

It also included a magnificent top score of 108 not out.

Tunnicliffe is certainly putting pressure on under-performing former Proteas captain Sune Luus for a place in the middle order.

Luus has averaged just seven in 2024 in T20 internationals. The former skipper will have an opportunity to regain some form in the forthcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka, while Tunnicliffe will have to wait for a call-up.