Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Every team needs a captain like Laura Wolvaardt

Wolvaardt scored three centuries in five games against Sri Lanka.

How good is Laura Wolvaardt!

Already established as one of the country’s top women cricketers, and well respected as the leader of the team, the Proteas captain has flaunted her incredible form in recent weeks.

While the SA side lost the recently concluded three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka, and settled for a draw in the ODI series, Wolvaardt did well to lead from the front at the top of the order.

In the five matches she played against the visiting Sri Lankans, the skipper racked up 493 runs at a remarkable average of 164.33.

Her spectacular run of form featured three centuries (two of them unbeaten) including her maiden ton in the T20 format and a career best 184 not out in the final ODI in Potchefstroom on Wednesday, which was the highest total ever achieved by a South African woman.

It’s one thing playing well, but being the captain of a national team brings additional pressure, and the way she has glued herself to the crease against the tourists proves just how classy she is with a bat in hand.

Reaffirming her status

It’s not that we didn’t know this already. Wolvaardt is hardly a new kid on the block.

Since making her international debut in 2016, she has played 95 ODI matches, 66 T20 Internationals and two Tests. In the process she has made eight centuries and boasts solid averages of 48.14 and 36.56 in the one-day and T20 formats.

She also played a key role at the T20 World Cup last year, picking up a Player of the Match award in the group stages and top-scoring for her team twice at the tournament, as they became the first SA senior cricket side to reach the final of a global championship.

And as they prepare to challenge for the title again at this year’s T20 World Cup, to be held in Bangladesh in September, Wolvaardt’s form is not just a good sign for herself as an individual, but for her squad as well.

Teams tend to perform better when their captains lead from the front.

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Proteas women's team