Cape Town - The Proteas women are determined to use the remaining two fixtures of their five-match T20 international series as an opportunity to save themselves from an outright loss.
With no opportunity left to overtake West Indies after Sunday’s abandoned match, the visitors are angling to at least draw the contest that ends this Saturday, October 06 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Before that, they have the fourth fixture to play at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. It will be another day/night affair starting at 19:00 (local time) and senior batter and former captain, Mignon du Preez says the team are adamant in their goal to level the series.
“It’s very disappointing about the match being rained out the other night,” she commented. “We’ve had a lot of chats and had the opportunity to train and the girls are ready to change things around. We know that there’s a lot at stake and we really wanted to play for the win. It’s unfortunately one of those things in cricket, you can’t change the weather so we need to focus on the controllables. Right now we’re looking to finish the series with winning both remaining games and give ourselves good momentum going into the World T20.”
Losses by 17 runs and nine wickets respectively in the first two matches put South Africa on the backfoot of this series and brought the loss count to three on the trot after losing the third ODI to draw that contest in Barbados last week. Du Preez admits that the team suffered a knock to their confidence at the time but have since moved on from those set-backs. Time together as a team on and off the field has helped them pick one another up.
“It’s definitely not fun losing matches when you know the quality that you pack as a team like we have,” she explained. “It plays on the confidence but the really great thing about this team is how much we really back each other and how we’re always there for each other. I think it’s helped being in the West Indies because it’s such a beautiful place to tour and we’ve spent a lot of time together as a team off the field as much as we have on the field and we’ve been able to lean on each other that way. We have this great group of youngsters who have brought a lot of new energy and enjoyment to the team and are reminding us to see the lighter side of life.”
That being said, the number four batter is frustrated with the team’s results in this format which she says they enjoys playing thoroughly. She said they seem to talk the talk well but are struggling to walk the walk.
“I think the word for it is ‘frustrated,’” she elaborated. “We know that we are better than the performances that we’ve put on. It’s one of the things we’ve been talking about, we don’t seem to be walking our talk. For us as a team to be able to move forward, we have to find a way to be more consistent. That is an area of concern that we’ve have for a while, we know we’re better than that. As senior players, myself as well, we need to start putting our hands up and show the little ones how it should be done and lead from the front.
“I think we’ve got what it takes to take them (West Indies) on and that skills wise it’s just about putting what we talk about into practice. Sometimes I think we over complicate things and over think it. At the end of the day, it’s just bat against ball and we just have to go out there and have fun and play for the little girls that started playing this game and the reason why we fell in love with the sport in the first place.”
The series will be steamed live at www.windiescricket.com. Tomorrow’s match will start at 19:00 local time (01:00 SAST)