Cape Town - Proteas all-rounder Marizanne Kapp is delighted to have surpassed 100 One-Day International (ODI) wickets in the first match of the ICC Women's Championship (IWC) series against the West Indies, but warns South Africa will have to up its game in Wednesday's encounter against the wounded hosts.
With the visitors 1-0 up in the three-match competition, they find themselves just one victory shy of their first ever ODI series win in the West Indies, a feat that Kapp is keen to achieve.
Speaking on the eve of the match at Kensington Oval, the 28 year-old from Port Elizabeth reflected on her career so far and expressed her hopes for the team's future.
"I started out more as a batting all-rounder in this team and now I find myself as a bowling all-rounder," she commented sheepishly.
"It's been a long, tough journey. I remember when I first started, women's cricket was nowhere on the map and now look how far we've gone. It's exciting times for us, it's good to see some of the South African girls now also reaching all these milestones that you see some of the other bigger nations' players reach. It's an awesome feeling and hopefully this is just the beginning.
"I was a little bit nervous in the previous game especially on these wickets. You really have to work extremely hard because it's quite low and slow and then the heat also plays a big factor as well. I think Klaasie (Masabata Klaas) stepped up brilliantly, that was one of the best spells I've ever seen her bowl. It just shows you that there's depth in our team, we just need to give people more opportunities because you never know what they can do. I can't wait for the other two (Ayabonga Khaka and Shabnim Ismail) to come back. If all of us can fire together, no one will be able to play us."
Kapp is delighted with South Africa's 40-run victory over the hosts but cautions against her side getting ahead of themselves as this is the same start they had to their lost One-Day series against England in June of this year.
She also stressed the importance of getting more IWC points as the team continue their search for direct qualification for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup.
"It was so important for us to start off on a good note and I think we by no means played the perfect ODI, but we still came out on top so that's really good to see from us," she continued. "Hopefully we can correct our wrongs and end up on the winning side again.
"The IWC is very important, we didn't play our best cricket over in England so we have to make sure that we get all the points that we can over here," Kapp went on. "Luckily we play most of the subcontinent teams at home (South Africa) in this round so these points will be very important for us. If we can go home with a series win first of all, and then taking all the points that we can, it will be brilliant for us going forward."
She believes that there is still plenty of room for improvement but backs her team to emerge victorious at the end of the day.
"We can improve in all three aspects (of the game). With bowling we had quite a few extras, we didn't kill the game early enough. They were seven down and they had quite a big partnership, so that's something we can improve on. We got the tough side of batting when we were put in first, especially with the rain around but I think the girls did brilliantly. There's always space to improve fielding, especially here where the ball hangs a bit in the air. All in all though, I'm really happy with the direction we're headed in, it's just really important for us not to get comfortable and to show a bit more ruthlessness."