Johannesburg - Having dominated Ireland since the second T20 International, one problem the Proteas must avoid is complacency.
Vice-captain Chloe Tryon Monday said she felt positive that would not occur, citing the importance of points for the International Women’s Championships and the need to build confidence ahead of the tour to England later this month.
Since being shocked by Ireland in the opening T20, when they failed to properly assess and come to terms with conditions, South Africa has overwhelmed the Irish winning the second and third T20 matches by chasing targets below 110 runs.
The bowlers performed even better in the opening ODI on Saturday, blowing the hosts away for just 69 in under 30 overs with Shabnim Ismail and skipper Sunde Luus each taking three wickets.
Despite missing some of their best players, the Proteas are still proving to be a class above a young Irish side, which is also missing eight regular starters. Although there have been questions about the quality of the opposition and whether it is impacting on the preparation for the England tour, Tryon emphasised the importance of building confidence, especially for the top order batters.
“You can’t get complacent, cricket’s a funny game, you have to make sure you’re doing the right things. We want to make sure we are taking the positives going into the next game,” Tryon commented.
She and Luus haven’t had a bat since the opening T20 match, but Tryon isn’t perturbed by the lack of time at the crease. “We know that if our top three or four are making runs that will make our jobs a little bit easier at the back end. In a way I’m happy, but I always want to bat in any game. But it’s also really important that we get our top order feeling really good and confident. So from that perspective it's not too much of a concern (that some players haven’t had a bat) because we know if our top three are making runs, that will make scoring 280 to 290 a little bit easier.”
Lara Goodall has certainly benefited from time spent in the middle with scores of 52, 48 in the last two T20 Internationals and 32 not out on Saturday, providing the necessary boost in confidence Tryon mentioned. The 26 year old left-hander will have a critical role to play in England, with regular skipper Dane van Niekerk only expected back for the T20 matches against the English in the hrid week of July. Then there’s the qualification points for the 2025 World Cup. “Those points are very important, so we just don’t want to give Ireland a sniff,and be as ruthless as possible,” said Tryon.
Fielding remains a point of some concern, and while the catching was good on Saturday, Tryon said the players are still demanding more accurate throwing at the stumps.
Tuesday’s second ODI, starts at 11.45 am.
Ireland: Gaby Lewis (capt), Alana Dalzell, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Sarah Forbes, Shauna Kavanagh, Arlene Kelly, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Kate McEvoy, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Celeste Raack, Mary Waldron
South Africa: Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Sune Luus (capt), Nonkululeko Mlaba, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Tumi Sekhukhune, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Delmi Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt