Proteas the perfect prep for Aussies

South Africa's world-class fast-bowling attack set to be the perfect test for Australia's batters in Tuesday's World Cup warm-up

Australia’s in-form top-order will be put to the test on Tuesday, when they take on South Africa in an ICC warm-up match in Oakham.

The Proteas boast one of the most threatening new-ball pairs in the tournament in Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, whose potency is perhaps second to only famed England pair Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt.

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With Australian openers Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney seamlessly adjusting to the English conditions since the World Cup squad’s arrival in the United Kingdom last week, and No.4 Ellyse Perry striking a century against New Zealand in last week’s practice game in Southampton, it looms as a mouth-watering battle.

The sixth-ranked South Africa put in a strong showing when they toured Australia late last year despite losing the five-game series 4-0, tying with the hosts in one match and falling just shy of victory in another.

Kapp – the current No.1 one-day bowler in the world – was a standout during that series, her tight lines strangling the Australians early in their innings, while she twice claimed the prized wicket of world No.1 ODI batter Meg Lanning – for 18 and 3, no less.

South Africa the WWC dark horse

She was operating without Ismail in that series, the latter serving a six-month suspension for misconduct. The addition of the fiery, wiry quick - regarded as one of the world’s fastest – to the Proteas’ line-up for the tournament ensures an even sterner test for the top-ranked Australian outfit.

"They’re a really class outfit at the moment,” Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy said on Sunday.

"It’ll be a really good test for us and a great opportunity for both teams to have a really solid hit out before what could be a crunch match later in the tournament.

"I’m really looking forward to that contest.

"They’re dangerous with the bat and the ball, so it’ll be good to see where our skills are at and what we might need to improve on against a really good team."

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Healy is more familiar with Kapp than most, playing alongside both the South African allrounder and her captain Dane van Niekerk at the Sydney Sixers in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

"It’s a bit of a Sixers reunion, someone said,” Healy laughed.

"It’s fortunate I probably won’t have to play her with the new ball, that’s someone else’s job.

"That’s where she’s at her best. Ismail as well, both of those two with the new ball is quite a potent attack.

"That’s something for our top-order to think about and manage.

"For me I’ll probably get (Kapp) at the back end when she’s trying to bowl a lot fuller.

"I think that suits my game a more, facing Kappy at the back end."

There’ll be at least one other less-familiar face in the Proteas ranks on Tuesday, with Australia to get their first look at teenage opener Laura Wolvaardt.

The 18-year-old averages 42.46 from 18 ODIs to date and recently scored 149 in an ODI against Ireland, but was absent from the team that toured Australia last year due to a broken collarbone.

Women's World Cup 2017 Guide

Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Squads: Every World Cup squad named so far

Australia's World Cup schedule

View the full tournament schedule here

Warm-up matches

June 20: Australia v South Africa, Oakham

June 22: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester


June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton

June 29: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol

July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol

July 5: Pakistan v Australia, Leicester

July 9: England vAustralia, Bristol

July 12: Australia v India, Bristol

July 15: South Africa v Australia, Taunton

July 18: First semi-final, Bristol

July 20: Second semi-final, Derby

July 23: Final, Lord's

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