The Protea women are going all out for a series whitewash. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

DURBAN – After clinching the three-match One-Day International series with a game to spare on Thursday, the Proteas women are aiming to secure a clean sweep when they play Sri Lanka in the final encounter in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

The hosts have won five out of the five matches that have been played in the tour so far, that started with a T20 international series at the start of the month.

Opening batter Laura Wolvaardt is pleased with the side’s success and is optimistic of their chances ahead of the final fixture, but cautions against complacency when taking on their feisty opponents.

“I think it (the series win) will put a lot of girls at ease. It’s never nice going into the last game knowing that you still need to try and win the series, it’s always good to have it won before then,” said Wolvaardt.

“But we’re definitely not taking that last game lightly, we still need the points for the ICC Women’s Championship and they are vital points for us to move up that log a bit and we’re definitely looking to whitewash this series.

“I think confidence is huge in any team, but we need to be careful going into this last game that it’s not arrogance. We still have a lot of work to do in this last game and we need to still work hard and get those points. Playing against sub-continent teams you don’t generally expect them to bring the game to you. It’s been important for us coming into this series to not think that we’re going to win it easily.”

Wolvaardt, who scored 64 runs from 69 deliveries in their series-winning match said she was relieved to have bounced back from her first career golden duck in the first ODI.

“I think it was my first, first-baller of my career so it sucked a little. It’s never great going out on the first ball, especially because I didn’t think it was necessarily a great ball that got me out, I think I kinda played a really stupid shot,” she said with a wry smile. “The next game I really had to focus and forgot about everything and the last innings and just focussed on watching the ball. So in the last game I was really happy with my strike-rate, I think it was the fastest my strike has been (to 50 runs) so that was a bit of a personal victory for me.

Wolvaardt hopes that South Africa can win Sunday’s match just for the confidence boost that it will give the team for the year ahead. She believes that an achievement of that nature could be the catalyst her side needs going into what will be a busy 12 months.

“That would be huge for us. It’s been a while since we’ve beaten a side in the top eight (teams in the world) with back-to-back whitewashes. Just knowing that and having that under the belt will be good for us going forward, especially confidence wise. Sri Lanka are a really good unit and have improved with every match we’ve played, so that would be a really good achievement for us,” she concluded. 

African News Agency (ANA)