South Africa’s national women’s indoor cricket A were crowned the Indoor Cricket Masters World Series champs for the second time in a row after beating the national B side 76-46 at the Montague Indoor Sports Arena, in Montague Gardens, at the weekend.
The week-long event, played on an artificial turf, inside a net, with a rubber ball, by eight players per team, was hosted in Cape Town for the first time this year.
The women’s national teams, alongside three of the men’s national teams, were among 30 international teams that took part in the event, including the men’s over-35 champs New Zealand, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, UAE and Singapore.
They played in over-30, over-35, over-40, over-45 and over-50 age categories.
National all-round spin-bowler Chantal Botha, from Table View, said with over a year of preparation and training, unity in the Green Machine, as the A side is formerly called, was phenomenal.
“There is such an amazing bond within the SA team, each person doing their part for the team (coach and manager included) with the shared goal of keeping the World Cup in South Africa.
“We had a great start, winning all eight of our round-robin games, however, we had strong competition from the SA Invites team along the way and lost the first play-off game to them, meaning, we had to play Australia in the semi-final in order to proceed to the gold final against the SA Invites,” she said.
Botha said they had a convincing 94-48 win against Australia, securing their place in the final.
“It was an intense game between two very fired up and determined teams both eager to win the trophy as well as make history.
“For the SA Invites it would have been the first time an Invites team won a world cup and for the SA A side it would be the first time we would’ve retained the title.
“With lots of suspense and fantastic cricket from both teams, the A side emerged victorious. It was a superb final which no doubt had South Africa feeling very proud to have both teams reach the final of the World Cup,” she said.
Event organiser, John Litten said it was a great week and month for international sports, including indoor cricket.
“It’s the first time this event has been held in Cape Town. Fantastic for the local Capetonians to be able to see world class action cricket.”
The New Zealand over-35 team beat the Proteas over-35 side 68-52 to be crowned this years men’s indoor masters champs.