Laura Wolvaardt scores first T20I ton as Proteas thump Sri Lanka

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa celebrates her 100 runs during the 1st Women's T20I match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Willowmoore Park on March 27, 2024 in Benoni, South Africa

Laura Wolvaardt's first-ever century in the format propelled the Proteas women to a commanding 79-run victory in the first T20 International against Sri Lanka. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Published Mar 28, 2024


Laura Wolvaardt's first-ever century in the format propelled the Proteas women to a commanding 79-run victory in the first T20 International (T20I) against Sri Lanka at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday.

Wolvaardt's knock of 102 runs from 63 balls (12 fours, 3 sixes) including a substantial 116-run partnership with Marizanne Kapp, who contributed 60 runs from 40 deliveries, including four fours and three sixes, enabled South Africa to post their second-highest T20I total of 198/5 from their 20 overs.

In response, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 119 runs in 18.2 overs, with Annerie Dercksen (2/15) and Tumi Sekhukhune (2/25) both claiming two wickets each to help secure the victory for the home side.

Despite losing the toss and being asked to bat first, South Africa's opening pair of Tazmin Brits (15) and Wolvaardt provided a quick start, reaching 25/0 in the third over before Brits was dismissed by Inoshi Priyadharshani (1/25). However, Wolvaardt found a reliable partner in Kapp, and together they guided South Africa to 55/1 after the powerplay.

Building steam

South Africa maintained their momentum, reaching 80/1 at the halfway mark, with Kapp and Wolvaardt solidifying their partnership. Wolvaardt achieved her 11th T20I half-century during this period, while Kapp notched up her fourth fifty in the game's shortest format.

The duo went on to forge a 100-run partnership before Kapp was dismissed for 60 runs, ending the impressive stand. Wolvaardt then combined effectively with Sune Luus, who contributed 14 runs, as Wolvaardt became only the third Proteas Women player to score a T20I century.

In their pursuit of 199 for victory, South Africa made early inroads into the Sri Lankan batting lineup. Kapp dismissed Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu (4) in the first over, while Masabata Klaas (1/16) removed Vishmi Gunaratne (8), leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 28/2 after four overs.

However, a partnership between Hasini Perera (30) and Harshitha Samarawickrama provided some stability, propelling Sri Lanka to 42/2 at the end of six overs. Despite this, South Africa continued to exert pressure, and wickets fell at regular intervals for Sri Lanka.

Dercksen claimed her maiden international wicket, dismissing Samarawickrama for a top score of 38, while Sekhukhune and Chloe Tryon (1/18) also contributed with the ball. Two run-outs further dented Sri Lanka's hopes as they were bowled out for 119 runs, handing South Africa a comprehensive 79-run victory with 10 balls to spare.

The second T20I is scheduled for Saturday, at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, starting at 2pm. Tickets are available at the stadium and via TicketPro.