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Cricket | Women

Mignon du Preez © Gallo Images

SA face tough challenge against NZ

The ICC Women’s World Cup starts in all earnest for South Africa on Wednesday when they play New Zealand in their second game at the Derby Oval.

The “Kiwis” are ranked as the third best team in the world. Only Australia and England are ranked higher. South Africa is ranked sixth.

Mignon du Preez who made South African cricket history on Sunday becoming the first women’s player to play 100 one day games for the Proteas is not fazed by the rankings. As a seasoned campaigner, she has learned that on a good day a “dark horse” can upset the best in the world.

Her confidence sprouts from the fact that last year when New Zealand toured South Africa they did manage to beat them in one of the one-day games. The reality, however, is that New Zealand did manage to win the series 4-1.

But then again during the 2014 T20 World Cup, South Africa did manage to beat the “Kiwis” by five wickets to qualify for the semi-final proving that Du Preez is correct in her assessment that nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to the outcome of a game.

“Don’t get me wrong, playing New Zealand is a tough challenge. We certainly will have to play a lot better than we did against Pakistan,” said Du Preez who is based at Tuks.

“New Zealand is a well-balanced team who can bat and bowl. Their captain, Suzie Bates, is someone who can take any bowling attack apart with her flamboyant approach to batting. She did it in the first game against Sri Lanka when she scored 106 of 109 balls. It was the first century of the tournament.

“I rate our team also as quite balanced. I think we have one of the best bowling attacks in the world and we have real depth in the batting department. Tomorrow it is going to be important for our batsmen to bat through.

"Partnerships of just 30 or 40 runs are not going to be good enough we will need to convert at least one partnership to 100 plus runs. Sometimes we tend to lose our wickets in clusters. We cannot allow that to happen against New Zealand.

“One of the weaknesses in the game against Pakistan was fielding. At times it was really sloppy especially when it came to possible run-outs. Against a team like New Zealand you cannot afford to waste a wicket-taking opportunity,” said the Tuks-player.


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