Momentum Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk is looking forward to her team’s last round-robin ICC Women’s World Cup match against Australia in Taunton tomorrow. The all-rounder believes that this is the perfect opportunity for the South Africans to give themselves a momentum boost going into the semi-final stage of the tournament, but they will have to play their best cricket in order to achieve this.
“We all know they are the defending champions and are the number one team in the world so there are nerves flying about a bit, but we’re both in the semis and we (South Africa) want to give ourselves good momentum going in,” she said at the pre-match press conference this afternoon.
The last time the sides met was in their first warm-up match of the tournament just three weeks ago but it was Meg Lanning’s troops who returned victorious. Van Niekerk however, believes that the gap between the teams is narrowing and is convinced that her charges have what it takes to beat Australia and continue their good form in this tournament so far.
“Our first warm-up against them didn’t go the way we wanted, it was definitely a blip, losing the way we did because we know we are better than that,” she continued. “In the last series we played them, two or three games were really close and we tied one, showing that we are closing the gap. In a tournament like this, anything can happen.
“We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves but I think we’re peaking at the right time. Everything we’ve worked for these past few years is paying off.”
The skipper wants to see a stronger show from her bowlers during the middle over periods after they have made their initial breakthroughs up front. She believes that this will be the game changer against the strong Australian side.
“They have a long batting order with good batters. We identified we get through their top order well and pretty quickly but we fall asleep in the middle overs and that’s an area we’ve worked on and improved on during this tournament, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how the girls respond to them.”
Having already qualified for the semi-finals with a match to spare, Van Niekerk reiterates that there is still a lot to play for in tomorrow’s fixture, with their exact position in the top four depending on their result and that of the other matches taking place at the same time.
“There’s still a lot to play for, like where you end up in the top four and who you play against in the semis. Tomorrow is just as important as any other game and we’ll treat it as such,” she concluded.
The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 8 from 11:15 (SAST). Live scoring will be available on Cricket South Africa’s social media platforms; Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).
Momentum Proteas ICC Women’s World Cup squad:
Dané van Niekerk (capt, Eastern Province), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal), Trisha Chetty (wk, Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Odine Kirsten (Northerns)*.
*Odine Kirsten has replaced injured Andrie Steyn.
Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager), Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach), Russell Clarke (Fitness Trainer), Abram Ramoadi (Video Analyst), Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison).
ICC WWC 2017 Notes
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup (WWC) is taking place in England from 24 June to 23 July 2017. Financial services and Financial Wellness company Momentum are the single title sponsors of the South African women’s team, known as the Momentum Proteas. This will be the 11th ICC WWC. Eight teams qualified to participate in the 2017 tournament – listed in order of ranking:
3. New Zealand
4. India 5. West Indies
6. South Africa
8. Sri Lanka
Proteas Match schedule
• SA v Australia Saturday 15 July 2017 The Cooper Associates Country Ground Taunton
• Semi-finals Tuesday 18 July Country Ground Bristol
Thursday 20 July Country Ground Derby
• Final Sunday 23 July Lord’s London
Handles and Hashtags #WWC17 #proteaswomen
• ICC @ICC
• CSA: @OfficialCSA
• Momentum: @Momentum_za