NORTHAMPTON: Captain, Suné Luus believes the Momentum Proteas’ final chapter at the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup could have had a different ending if they made the most of their opportunities as they prepare to face their semi-final opponents, England in the first One-Day International (ODI) on Monday in Northampton.
The intriguing opening 50-over encounter that kicks off the three-match series between the two of the top three teams in the ICC Women’s ODI Rankings gets underway at 14h00 local time (15h00 SA time) at the Northampton County Cricket Ground.
The action will broadcast live on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Cricket.
Ahead of the first day-night clash, which also marks the first time South Africa takes on the Three Lionesses in a ODI clash since going down to England by 137 runs in the World Cup semi-final earlier this year, Luus is eager to better that previous result, while using it as added motivation.
“It put things into perspective, and we just had a team meeting about it, saying how much we want to get that win on the board,” she began.
“In the semi-final we had a lot of opportunities and just didn’t take them. I feel that game could have gone a whole other way and our World Cup journey could have been a bit different.
“With that mindset, we go into tomorrow just knowing that we have to take every opportunity, so that we make sure we are on top and don’t give them that satisfaction again,” Luus added.
Although South Africa lost the final four clash in New Zealand, they managed an impressive three-wicket triumph over the English side in the group stages earlier in the tournament, which was only the Proteas Women’s ninth win over the hosts in the two team’s history. In the 50 matches between South Africa and England, the home side has claimed 40 wins, with one match ending as a no result.
The Proteas also head into the upcoming ODI series on the back of last week’s retirement of experienced opening batter, Lizelle Lee, who was part of the strong 15-player squad that travelled to the United Kingdom for a multi-format tour.
When quizzed about the news, the skipper commented:
“It’s a big loss for us but also a big opportunity for some girls to get into the team and start their own career and journey.
“She told us earlier in the week. It came as a shock to all of us but she has given eight good years to her country and we all respect her decision. It’s her personal decision and we respect her decision regarding her retirement,” she continued
With the absence of Lee’s talents in the team, this ODI series offers a great chance to the other players within the national set up to stake a claim for a permanent spot within the top-order, including the likes of Andrie Steyn and Lara Goodall, who performed outstandingly well during the series in Ireland.
“It is very exciting for us to have a young top four and a young squad at the moment,” Luus said.
“We are all quite excited about it and just to see what the girls can bring to the table, it’s a big opportunity for some girls to put up their hands to secure their spot in that top four and in the batting order as well.
“The conversations stay very simple. As a batter your job is to score runs, so that doesn’t change no matter who the opponent is. That will be the focus for tomorrow; to keep our head down, bat and score as many runs as we can,” she concluded.
Momentum Proteas Squad for England Tour – Test & ODIs:
Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Sinalo Jafta (Six Gun Grill Western Province) Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Imperial Lions), Lizelle Lee (Senwes Dragons), Suné Luus (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Lions), Andrie Steyn (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Chloé Tryon (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Laura Wolvaardt (Six Gun Grill Western Province)
Momentum Proteas Tour to England Itinerary:
One-Day International Series –
Monday, 11 July @ 14h00 local time – 1st ODI – England vs South Africa (The County Ground, Northampton)
Friday, 15 July @ 14h00 local time – 2nd ODI – England vs South Africa (Bristol County Ground, Bristol)
Monday, 18 July @ 14h00 local time – 3rd ODI – England vs South Africa (The Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester)
T20 Series –
Thursday, 21 July @ 19h00 local time – 1st T20 – England vs South Africa (The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford)
Saturday, 23 July @ 14h30 local time – 2nd T20 – England vs South Africa (Blackfinch New Road, Worcester)
Monday, 25 July @ 18h30 local time – 3rd T20 – England vs South Africa (The Incora County Ground, Derby)