JOHANNESBURG: The Momentum Proteas are gearing up to take on England and New Zealand in their first ever T20 International double-header as the Tri-series kicks off in Somerset.
Team coach, Hilton Moreeng says that the series will be the perfect continuation of the team’s preparation for the ICC Women’s World T20 starting in November in the West Indies. It will also serve a good indicator of where the team stands when put up against some of the most highly regarded T20 cricketers in the world currently.
“Preparation has been good,” he commented. “We did a lot of reflection on the ODIs as a team, there are a couple of things that we have identified that we have to improve on. But looking ahead to the back-to-back games, this will be the first time that we will be taking part in a series of this kind, which makes it exciting.
“The change in format has been good for us because the players enjoy T20 cricket a lot. It’s a very short format where skills need to be on point. We’re up against two very good sides, which will make it even better for us as to go and challenge ourselves and give us a taste of the intensity that will be needed when we go to the World T20.”
Moreeng is confident that his charges have shaken off the 2-1 ODI series defeat to England and are mentally prepared for the tri-series ahead. The coach said that having had time to assess themselves and where they erred against England, the Proteas are looking forward to actioning the lessons learned.
“When we look at our lost series, yes we didn’t win it, but the skills were there. There were a lot of positives that we could take away from it and bring into this series,” he explained. “When it comes to T20s we know that all the teams have the strength and what it takes to win. Anything can happen, it’s only 20 overs. It’s about who on the day can execute their basics well, execute their skills and mentally stays calm. It’s an aspect that we’re growing into as a team and is a format that we would like to get better at as we don’t play it as often as we would like. The players are up for the challenge and are looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how they go.”
Momentum Proteas squad:
Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Lizelle Lee (North West), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Gauteng), Masabata Klaas (North West), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Suné Luus (Northerns), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Zintle Mali (Border), Stacey Lackay (Western Province), Tazmin Brits (North West).
T20 Tri-Series – England, South Africa & New Zealand
20 June – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, South Africa v New Zealand, 1pm start; England v South Africa, 5:40pm start
23 June – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, England v South Africa, 1pm start; England v New Zealand, 5:40pm start
28 June – The Brightside Ground, Bristol, South Africa v New Zealand, 1pm start; England v New Zealand, 5:40pm start
1 July – Final – The CloudFM County Ground, Chelmsford (3pm)