Laura Wolvaardt slams hundred to set up big Proteas Women win over Sri Lanka

Proteas Women captain Laura Wolvaardt smashed 15 boundaries in her innings of 102 against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night. Photo: EPA

Proteas Women captain Laura Wolvaardt smashed 15 boundaries in her innings of 102 against Sri Lanka on Wednesday night. Photo: EPA

Published Mar 27, 2024



The Proteas Women beat Sri Lanka by 79 runs in their first T20 International in Benoni on Wednesday night and delivered on their promise to start the series well.

Captain Laura Wolvaardt’s superb knock of 102 off 63 balls (12x4, 3x6) was enough to see off Sri Lanka as the South Africans started off their World Cup preparations in fine style.

Right-handed batter Wolvaardt was a treat to watch as she reached her maiden T20I hundred.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl first at Willowmoore Park, and were out to repeat the surprise three-run defeat they inflicted on the Proteas at last year’s World Cup, but it wasn’t to be.

The Proteas posted an impressive 198-5 off their 20 overs, and Sri Lanka could only manage to 119 all out in 18.2 overs.

With this victory, South Africa will be looking to better their record further in the series, having recorded only four wins in 15 matches in T20Is.

Wolvaardt led the Proteas assault as she scored her first ever T20 century.

The stylish South African opener showed her full array of offside strokeplay, particularly a classy lofted extra cover drive for six.

She pieced the gaps at will, and went past her previous best score of 72.

Sri Lanka got the early wicket of Tazmin Brits, who looked good for her 15 off eight balls.

Their joy was short-lived, though, as Wolvaardt was joined by Marizanne Kapp, and it didn’t take long for them to get the scoreboard ticking quickly.

The Indian Women Premier League stars were in full flow, and put on a record second-wicket partnership of 116.

Kapp was promoted up the order and helped herself to 60 off 40 balls (4x4, 3x6) to bring up her fourth career half-century.

Wolvaardt was dropped on 62 off the bowling of Achini Kalasuriya, but the latter dismissed Kapp for 60 the very next ball, with Nilakshi de Silva completing the catch.

All-rounder Suné Luus broke the SA record for most appearances in T20 Internationals.

Luus, earning her 115th cap, was out for 14 as she came in at a time when the scoring rate had to be accelerated.

Luus had an injury scare when fielding a ball on the boundary after he knee got stuck in the ground, but she returned to the field at a later stage.

Rain started falling in Benoni, but didn’t last long enough for the game to lose any overs.

Kapp got dangerous Sri Lankan opening batter Chamari Athapaththu (one), carrying on from where she left off in her batting innings.

There would only be a meaningful contribution of 38 from Harshitha Samarawickrama (off 33 balls, 5x4) before Annerie Dercksen got rid of her.

Dercksen was the pick of the SA bowlers with figures of 2-15, but it was a good all-round bowling display from the rest of the team, with Tumi Sekhukhune claiming 2-25.