The inaugural Women’s T20 Super League 2019 got off to a low-key start at the Irene Country Club on Sunday. While the crowds might not have flocked, there was still the chance to see some great batting and bowling… not to mention wicketkeeping.
While a lot of Proteas men’s fans might feel the women’s game isn’t at a high enough standard to warrant them watching, one thing they should remember is that this is a unique time in South African cricket as our women cricketers embark on a fully professional careers. Forget about how hard they hit, how far the sixes fly, or how fast they bowl or run in the field… as a cricket fan there is so much to enjoy when it comes to watching cricket at any level. There’s drama, action, great competition… and often some great lessons to be learned.
In the match between the Terblanche XI and the F. van der Merwe XI, Terblanche XI batter Anneke Bosch swung hard to leg but missed a beautifully flighted and delivered ball from medium-pacer Nadine de Klerk. The ball hit Bosch on the body and behind the stumps to experienced Proteas keeper Trisha Chetty.
Chetty scooped up the ball and immediately underarmed it onto the stumps, having spotted that Bosch had stepped out of her crease after slightly losing balance from her lusty heave to leg.
We’ve seen a lot of batters in the men’s game wandering out of their crease and getting Mankaded, and other being run out after a pretty technically or strategically poor effort at running between the stumps.
Bosch was simply unlucky to lose her wicket, as she was far from negligent – it was simply that Chetty was clinically efficient in gathering and shying at the stumps.
Well played, Trisha – great example you set there of awareness and execution. Every wicket is vital in cricket, and when you can sneak an opponent out with a clever bit of cricket.
Chetty had earlier scored 49 off 42 balls before she played a ball from Bosch onto her stumps. The F van der Merwe XI her side reached 121 off their 20 overs, which proved too much for the Terblanche XI. Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt scored 52 off 48 balls but De Klerk held her nerve to shut the innings out with a great last over, conceding just two runs off the bat as well as knocking over Wolvaardt and completing a run out as her side held their opponents to just 108-5 off their 20 overs for a solid win.
Chetty has always been a quality cricketer, but Nadine de Klerk’s bowling at the death highlighted her quality as a cricketer.
From a technical perspective, Chetty gathered the ball and immediately went into a ‘backswing’ poised to shy at the stumps. The alert fielder or keeper will always have their first action anticipating an opportunity to strike. Secondly, she threw the ball into the ground a metre or two short of the stumps. Although the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the margin for error is a lot greater if you try to throw the ball directly into the stumps in the air, and especially when you are wearing the keeper’s gloves.
When you throw the ball into the ground first it actually helps in two ways. Firstly, it propels the ball further with greater speed, so you can throw a lot harder into the ground than if you are trying to hit the stumps on the full, and because your throwing motion is downwards which means you are aiming to hit a point on the ground a lot closer to you, which means you have a greater chance of hitting that target on the ground. There is less chance of letting the ball go late and it flying over the stumps.
The same applies for any fielder throwing at the stumps, although this is certainly of even greater benefit to keepers because of the gloves they wear.
Definitely something players should all be practicing.