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Cricket | Women

Shabnim Ismail © Gallo Images

SA women ready for tough challenge



The Momentum Proteas Women are under no illusions about the difficulties that they will face when they play Australia in their second ICC Women's World Cup match on Sunday.

Australia, who are still riding the high of their ICC Women's World T20 win last year, are also the No 2 ODI side in the world following England and will be a formidable opponent for the No 8 ranked South Africans.

Tough competition is not something new to the Proteas, who come off a harsh 151-run loss against New Zealand, but the side have put that behind them.

"What's gone is gone," captain Mignon du Preez said. "Yesterday was not our finest hour and we did not play to our potential but we know what's needed and we also know what to do to get there. We are going into the Australia match with our heads clear and with our focus on the goal."

Australia won both their warm-up matches leading into the tournament but knowing that they have yet to lose gives South Africa the added desire to be the team to break their streak.

Shabmin Ismail says they will be giving their all tomorrow, "It's time to go big or go home," she said. "We all know what is needed from us and we will be giving that out in spades tomorrow. The bowling really let us down yesterday against New Zealand, but tomorrow is a new day."

Ismail, who scored 31 from 38 balls including six boundaries, is gaining more confidence in her batting.

"Losing out on the tour to the West Indies made me work that much harder in preparation for the tournament. I spent a lot of time on my batting and I'm glad that it's showing," she continued.

Du Preez expects an all-round performance from her side in order to succeed in beating the ladies from down under.

"To achieve what many people probably don't think is possible will require one hundred per cent focus from all of us and a flawless display with both bat and ball as well as on the field. If we minimize the errors and maximise on the opportunities that they give us, there's no reason why we won't win," she concluded.

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