Cape Town - Nadine de Klerk wants the Proteas to fight “fire-with-fire” when they meet England in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final at Newlands on Friday.
The stage is perfectly set for a humdinger between the hosts and their arch-rivals, especially with the Proteas seeking revenge for their defeat to Heather Knight’s team in the 50-overs World Cup semi-final in Christchurch two years ago.
England are, of course, the favourites heading into the clash due to their form shown thus far in the tournament, especially in their last league match when they posted a record 213 against Pakistan.
However, India showed that the underdog has nothing to fear when embracing a positive approach as they came within five runs of pulling off a shock result in the first semi-final against Australia on Thursday.
De Klerk, who plays with her heart on her sleeve and is always bustling around with bat, ball and in the field, believes that facing England head-on is the only way to go if the Proteas are to advance to their first-ever major tournament final.
“It is going to be a good game of cricket and, from a mental aspect, I don’t think we should look at the results of the past,” De Klerk told Cricket SA’s social media channels.
“I think we should put that aside. It is a World Cup semi-final, and it's in our country, so from a mental side of things, we must look past that and look to play positive cricket.
“England are a quality side, and we’ve played them a lot in the last year or so. We know what’s coming … they will come hard … and I think we must do the same thing. We must fight fire with fire!
“Go out there, and leave everything out on the field. It’s do-or-die. There are no second chances.”
The Proteas have played in five major ICC tournament semi-finals before. Three at the 50-overs World Cup and two in the T20 World Cup. All of those matches were, however, played in Australia, England, New Zealand and Bangladesh before.
De Klerk, therefore, believes that playing at home in front of the passionate South Africans fans for the first time will be entirely different as it will be gees of “the 12th-player” that will drive the Proteas over the line.
“We are all really excited. We’ve been waiting for this World Cup for so long,” she said.
“We just want to get out there and play a semi-final in front of our home crowd is going to be special.
“I hope the stadiums are packed as it has been the last couple of weeks, and I hope we can give England a real good run for their money. It’s going to be really special.”
The match starts at 3pm (SA time).