SA women one win from turnaround

Dane van Niekerk during the CSA Acting CEO and Momentum Proteas Media Opportunity at CSA Headquarters on May 30, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dane van Niekerk during the CSA Acting CEO and Momentum Proteas Media Opportunity at CSA Headquarters on May 30, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

South Africa are sick of being beaten in England‚ where the home side have prevailed in all nine series the teams have contested across all formats – including in last year’s World Cup.

But Dané van Niekerk’s women are a win away from changing all that.

The seven-wicket smack South Africa gave England in the first one-day international in Worcester on Saturday means another success in Brighton today will wrap up the rubber.

“It was a near perfect game‚” the odd man out in South Africa’s dressingroom‚ coach Hilton Moreeng‚ said yesterday.

“Everything happened to plan.”

Three wickets each for Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka‚ and Raisibe Ntozakhe keeping the damage down to 21 runs in her 10 overs‚ limited England to 189/9.

Then Lizelle Lee‚ who kept wicket and opened the batting‚ scored an undefeated 92 and shared a stand of 113 with Van Niekerk – who made 58 after walking to the crease after three overs with the scoreboard reading 5/2 – to take South Africa home with 27 balls to spare.

“We all know she’s a very explosive batter but she was on the field for 95 overs‚ which shows her maturity and fitness‚” Moreeng said of Lee’s peerless performance.

That helped the visitors exorcise the ghost of their last match against these opponents: a cliffhanger of a World Cup semifinal in Bristol in July‚ which SA lost by two wickets with two balls to spare.

“We all know what happened in the last game in which we played each other; it was important for us to start the series well‚” Moreeng said.

“But it’s going to be tough because now England are a team who have been wounded on home soil.

“We must stay focused – feet on the ground.”

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