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Kapp’s enthusiasm is contagious as Delhi Capitals thrash Mumbai Indians


Mumbai Indians 109 for 8 (Vastrakar 26, Kapp 2-13, Pandey 2-21, Jonassen 2-25) were defeated by Delhi Capitals 110 for 1 (Capsey 38*, Shafali 33) by nine wickets.

Marizanne Kapp does everything she does on the cricket field with passion. You simply cannot breathe well when she is batting till she gets struck out. And when she bowls, she runs in with a ferocious expression on her face and slightly arched eyebrows, giving every ball her all. She is always in the ears of the captain or has a hand around a youngster’s shoulder. Several times, including during the T20 World Cup last month and the Women’s World Cup last year, she has helped South Africa come out on top.

Nonetheless, Kapp took some time to advance to this level in the Women’s Premier League. She didn’t really prove she had arrived until her fourth game for Delhi Capitals, when she smashed Gujarat Giants with the first five-for of her T20 career.

Kapp has a 5.29 economy rate in the WPL powerplay. After Nat Sciver-Brunt, it is the second-best performance among bowlers who have thrown at least 50 balls in the first six overs. Eight wickets, the most of any bowler in this period, have been taken by her. Her nine total goals rank third among seamers in the WPL, behind Shikha Pandey of the Capitals and Kim Garth of the Giants.

On Monday, Kapp perforated the Mumbai Indians with another two-wicket burst during the powerplay. As disciplined and incisive as always, Kapp’s performance helped the Capitals take the league lead with two games remaining. Mumbai lost for the second time in a row in the WPL after five straight victories.

Kapp started with three consecutive dots to Yastika Bhatia in front of a blue-clad throng in the DY Patil stadium. After the ball was pushed back to her after the third delivery, she passed it to mid-on and rushed to slip to speak quietly with captain Meg Lanning.

Nobody knows what was discussed because there were no immediate modifications in the field. Yet, instead of the exquisite leg in the opening over, Bhatia had a deep backward square leg in place when she started her second over. The brief one was approaching. At the very least, she wanted the batter to believe that. And it succeeded.

A ball that was pitched up and travelling across Bhatia got her on the back foot. That took her outside edge and safely fell in the wicketkeeper’s gloves.

Kapp was ecstatic. Lanning exclaimed in joy. Bhatia was aware that she had been tricked.

Then, Kapp defeated Nat Sciver-Brunt by using the nip-backer off a length. It moved through Sciver-mow Brunt’s and crossed the line to castle her after she bowled it around off. The Mumbai all-first rounder’s ball ended in a duck. The “home side” had been early on rocked by the Capitals.

In the first six games, Bhatia and Sciver-Brunt were responsible for about 39% of the runs Mumbai scored during the competition. In fact, Mumbai’s top four batters accounted for roughly 84% of the team’s runs up until Monday. Kapp was able to glimpse the back of two of them in eight balls. She achieved that while recording 3-0-10-2 in the opening six overs.

Kapp and her partner Dane van Niekerk have been put to the test during the past few years. While Kapp achieved the pinnacle of success, taking home two women’s hundred victories, one women’s big bash league championship, and playing on the first-ever senior South African cricket team to compete in a World Cup final, van Niekerk was passed over by not one but two teams who had initially named Kapp as their captain. South Africa and The Oval Invincibles both passed her by in 2022 and 2023, respectively. She ended her career in international cricket at age 29 as a result of everything.

Although Kapp acknowledged that it was “a strain” for her to maintain her focus throughout, she was still able to produce match-changing performances one after the other.

“The day that I actually took my fiver [five-wicket haul] here, I was crying in the bus on my way here [DY Patil Stadium] because I knew Dane was retiring,” she said in the presser after her second Player-of-the-match award in the WPL. “It’s been tough but again, I think it’s my religion. Jesus Christ has been so good to me especially through those hard patches. I have to mention my team as well. They make it so easy for me to be here.

“I have always been a very shy person but I felt like I am so comfortable with these girls and management. I’ve just fitted in and they make me feel at home.”

Kapp might not have taken as many wickets on the same pitch where she took the five-wicket haul. But, the significance of the two wickets she took early was equal to or perhaps greater than that of the five against Giants. She praised Shikha Pandey’s penultimate over, which went for just four runs and featured hard-hitting Issy Wong and Amanjot Kaur in the middle, as has been her habit when compliments are addressed at her.

“Always nice to contribute, especially with the new ball. That’s my job,” Kapp told the broadcaster during the innings break. “I told Shikha [Pandey] that was one of the best death overs I have seen in a long time. So credit to the bowling attack.”

While Jess Jonassen, Pandey, and Kapp all took two wickets to restrict Mumbai to a meager 109 for 8, it was unquestionably the Kapp display early on that set the tone for Capitals’ nine-wicket victory.

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