SA women fall to Australia in hard-fought clash

26 March 2014

The South African women’s cricket team went down to defending Women’s World Twenty20 champions Australia by six wickets with eight balls remaining in their match in Sylhet, Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Batting first, Mignon du Preez and company struggled, posting just 115 for 9 in their 20 overs, led by Trish Chetty’s 30 off 28 deliveries, 20 off 24 from Marizanne Kapp, and an unbeaten 19 off only seven balls from number 10 Sune Luus.

Three Australian bowlers – Rene Farrell, Erin Osborne and Julie Hunter – claimed two wickets apiece, while the South African batting effort was further undermined by the run outs of Kapp and Shabnim Ismail.

Australian innings

Australia reached 116 for 4 in reply, just before the start of the final over of the contest after having been reduced to 34 for 3 in the eighth over.

Ellyse Perry starred with an unbeaten 41 off 29 balls, which included six fours, while Jess Cameron ended on 27 not out after the pair had put on an unbroken 60. Alex Blackwell, meanwhile, contributed 24.

Disappointed but proud

South African captain Mignon du Preez said while she was disappointed with the result, she was proud of the fight shown by her team.

“It was our toughest game in a very long while, but the heart and determination shown by the team when we were fielding was second to none. Every player put 100 percent into this game and I could tell that the Aussies were given a bit of a surprise in facing us the way we played.

“We pride ourselves in our fielding and today the team showed just what quality fielders we have. Ultimately, though, their superior match experience won the game for them.

She added: “We did not have enough runs on the board to defend and they took advantage of that in the end. Full credit to them and the way Perry and Cameron managed to pull their side back on to a winning track after a shaky start.”

The benefit of international competition

Du Preez added that continued international competition against tough opposition will help the South Africa women to improve their game.

“We hope that this match has shown the world the talent that is in this squad and that, with a little bit more competitive international match exposure, we can and will go even further as a team and a country,” she said.

Despite the defeat, South Africa remains in second place in Group A, above the third placed Australians on a superior run rate. New Zealand tops the standings, while Ireland is in fourth place and Pakistan props up the table in fifth.

‘A chance to recharge and regroup’

South Africa next face Ireland on Saturday in Sylhet. “I think the break will do us the world of good,” Du Preez said. “We’ll have a chance to recharge and regroup and refocus on the job at hand.

“We’re looking forward to playing Ireland. They are not new to us. We played them in a triangular series in January and know how tough they can be, but I’m backing my team to show that famous Proteas’ ‘bouncebackability’.”

After the clash with Ireland, the South African women wind up their Group fixtures with a match against New Zealand on Monday. The playoffs begin on Wednesday, 2 April.

SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africa)