The reigning champions DP World LIons and last year’s runner’s up Western Province opened their accounts for the 2023/24 CSA Women’s T20 Challenge (Division One) with respective seven-wicket victories against the Recon Tactical Free State and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on Sunday.
The Lions hosted Free State at the DP World Wanderers, with Sunette Viljoen-Louw scoring an unbeaten 37* off 34 deliveries (5 fours), along with Kristie Thomson’s 20-ball 33 (5 fours, 1 six) as the home side chased down the visitor’s 126/6 with seven deliveries remaining.
Meanwhile, Western Province was inspired by Proteas Women and CSA National Academy top-order batter, Andrie Steyn’s unrivalled 61* off 55 balls (7 fours, 1 six) as the Western Cape outfit surpassed the Dolphins’ first innings score of 102/5 within the 18th over.
In Johannesburg, the Lions won the toss and chose to field before new signing and South African fast-bowling legend Shabnim Ismail produced leading figures of two for 21 in four overs, aptly supported by Kgomotso Rapoo (2/24), to help the home side restrict Free State to 126/6 in their 20 overs.
Free State’s batting performance was led by contributions from the evergreen Yolandi Potgieter’s score of 32 of 25 deliveries (5 fours, 1 six) in addition to former Proteas captain, Mignon du Preez’s 29 off 18 (4 fours, 1 six).
In response with the bat, the Lions made it look straightforward at the crease as a crucial partnership for the third wicket between Viljoen-Louw and Thomson led the way for the Gauteng side before promising youngster Karabo Meso added an undefeated 29* off 17 balls (5 fours) to seal the emphatic within 18.5 overs.
At the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, the first taste of T20 cricket in the inaugural CSA Professional Domestic Women’s League saw Western Province win the toss and elect to field prior to limiting the Dolphins to 102/5 which saw WP’s Nosipho Vezi (2/13) take a principal return of two for 13 in her four overs.
Opening batter, Courtney Gouden ended the innings as the Dolphins’ top-scorer with an effort of 28 off 34 (3 fours).
Although Western Province’s reply with the bat suffered early setbacks with the loss of openers Babetta de Leede (1) and Faye Tunnicliffe (5), Steyn and Kelsey Adams (29) combined brilliantly to anchor the home side’s chase with a third-wicket stand to get Province off to a successful start in the shorter format in Division One.
Weekend’s Results – CSA Professional Domestic Women’s League:
CSA Women’s One-Day Cup – Division One (Saturday, 30 September)
DP World Lions beat Recon Tactical Free State by 6 wickets
Recon Tactical Free State: 247/6 after 50 overs; M. Smit 79* (91), M. du Preez 79 (95); K. Thomson 3/30, L. Meso 2/39
DP World Lions: 253/4 after 44.5 overs; K. Thomson 89* (89), S. Viljoen-Louw 73 (61); Y. Potgieter 2/56, M. Smit 1/17
Match abandoned due to rain
Western Province: DNB
Hollywoodbets Dolphins: DNB
CSA Women’s T20 Challenge – Division One (Sunday, 01 October)
DP World Lions beat Recon Tactical Free State by 7 wickets
Recon Tactical Free State: 126/6 after 20 overs; Y. Potgieter 32 (25), M. du Preez 29 (18); S. Ismail 2/21, K. Rapoo 2/24
DP World Lions: 128/3 after 18.5 overs; S. Viljoen-Louw 37* (34), K. Thomson 33 (20); Z. Kula 1/16, C. van Wyk 1/17
Western Province beat Hollywoodbets Dolphins by 7 wickets
Hollywoodbets Dolphins: 102/5 after 20 overs; C. Gouden 28 (34), K. Fisher 18* (15); N. Vezi 2/13, K. Reyneke 1/12
Western Province: 105/3 after 17.3 overs; A. Steyn 61* (55), K. Adams 29 (41), A. Candler 1/9, A. Hlubi 1/14