SA women back on track

Mignon du Preez (Gallo Images)
Mignon du Preez (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Having come unstuck in their tournament opener against Australia, the South African women's team is back on track at the ICC World Twenty20 in India. 

Wednesday's commanding 67-run victory over Ireland was crucial for Mignon du Preez and her side, and while there is still a lot of work to be done before they can think about a place in the semi-finals, they are at least off the mark at the tournament. 

Leg-spinner Sune Luus's career-best figures of 5/8 ensured that Ireland could only muster 89 from their 20 overs, but it was the improvement in the Proteas batting that was perhaps most pleasing. 

Batting first against Australia, South Africa could only set 102/6 while against Ireland they improved to 156/5 with acceleration in the middle overs and at the end of the innings the key difference.

With their next fixture against New Zealand on Saturday, that improvement could not have come at a better time. 

New Zealand top Group A with three wins from three having guaranteed their progression to the last four, while they are a major force in the women's game. 

It will be a tough ask, but the Proteas can take heart from their 2014 performance when they stunned the White Ferns to send them packing from the World Twenty20 that year, securing their own progression to the semi-finals in the process.

"For us it was very important to get the first win under the belt … we played much better and we hope this win will give us momentum," South African coach Hilton Moreeng said after the Ireland win.

"For the girls’ confidence and to know what is more or less a good score ... from the first game to this game the improvement is very good.

"With all the players putting their heads down, we came into this match knowing that there were three games to win and now it’s about one game at a time."

For 20-year-old Luus, the improvement was clear to see.

"This match gave us great momentum," she said.

"All the areas of our game improved a lot since the first game. The batting was outstanding … everybody chipped in nicely and it was a great bowling performance all-round."

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