Proteas hoping to get one over Lankans

MASABATA Klaas, centre, says the Proteas took lots of positives from the rained out first ODI against Sri Lanka in East London. | EPA

MASABATA Klaas, centre, says the Proteas took lots of positives from the rained out first ODI against Sri Lanka in East London. | EPA

Published Apr 13, 2024



THE Proteas Women head to Kimberley today (2pm start) in search of a series opening win against Sri Lanka after the spoils were shared in the first one-day international in East London on Tuesday.

That no-result will put even more pressure on coach Hilton Moreeng and his side as they let slip the T20 series after they won the first of three matches.

Masabata Klaas believes pressure will always be there, but there were a lot of positives to take from their batting performance in the first ODI.

The Proteas had their first outing with the bat since losing the T20 series, in which their batting took a confidence knock at the back end of the contest.

Opener Tazmin Brits’ knock of 116 off 128 balls at Buffalo Park was in vain as rain had the final say with only 6.5 overs of Sri Lanka’s innings bowled.

With two matches left in the series, both sides still have a chance to claim four crucial world ranking points ahead of the World Cup.

“The pressure is always there but as a collective, we always try to remain calm and go back to the drawing board. We might have lost the T20 series, but we try to take out all the positives even from a loss and ensure we are ready for what follows,” Klaas said.

The Proteas set Sri Lanka a target of 271 runs to win the first ODI and they would have been pleased to have Brits among the run scorers.

Captain Laura Wolvaardt (41) was not her fluent best but stuck around long enough to support Brits. Anneke Bosch (39) and Nadine de Klerk (34) added to a competitive total, but most importantly, the batters gave the bowlers a decent score to defend.

Seamer Klaas says the team actually aimed for more than 270 and felt they fell short by 30-40 runs.

“The batters have always given us good scores to defend. We have a strong bowling attack that can defend any score; they have been giving us freedom to focus and try to execute our game plans and we can stay focused on what we want to do.”

South Africa are currently ranked third in the ICC women’s ODI rankings, and only the top five sides will gain automatic qualification for the World Cup.

“Our main focus is tomorrow’s game and ensuring we win it and get the points we need. We will take it one game at a time,” Klaas continued.

The pitch in Kimberley has previously been kind to seam bowling and asked about her form heading to the clash, Klaas said her game is in a good space and she is taking a lot of responsibility within the team, keeping things simple and not relying on one plan has yielded good results for her.