This will give us the boost we need to win a World Cup trophy - SA cricket star Mignon Du Preez
JOHANNESBURG – Mignon du Preez believes South Africa have finally ‘shaken the monkey off their back’ after steering her side to their first Women’s T20 World Cup victory over England.
Du Preez, who has featured in all seven editions of the tournament, celebrated her 100th T20I appearance in style by hitting back-to-back boundaries in a thrilling final over against her country’s former semi-final nemesis.
England, who set a chase of 124 thanks to Nat Sciver’s half-century, looked like they were en route to an expected victory in Perth, but an impressive late showing from Chloe Tryon and two big hits from Du Preez turned the game on its head in the final over.
They may have left it late but Du Preez was delighted to lift South Africa over the line and said her side’s ability to hold their nerve will hold them in good stead for the rest of the tournament.
“It’s nice to finally beat them in an ICC tournament,” said the match-winner. “This is the seventh one I’ve played in and we’ve never got close before.
“To put that behind us and move forward is really exciting. We’ve always known how strong we are and that within the team we have match-winners but we had a monkey on our back.
“I’ve played enough games in my career to be able to step up in crucial moments and I think to finally do that and contribute to the team is really special.
“This will give us the boost we need to go one step further than the semi-finals and take a World Cup trophy home. We know we’re good enough, we just have to play well and enjoy it.
“It’s the biggest Women’s T20 World Cup so far and it’s such an honour to be a part of it.”
It wasn’t just with the bat that South Africa impressed as a three-wicket haul from Ayabonga Khaka and two apiece for van Niekerk and Kapp stopped England’s middle-order batters in their tracks.
With Amy Jones (23) and Fran Wilson (14) the only others to make double figures, innings-saver Sciver said her side is well aware they need to take their performance at the crease up a notch if they want to seal a spot in the knockout stages.
“I think we were a bit short with the bat,” she said. “We didn’t get quite enough runs unfortunately and we knew we had to bowl and field really well.
“Obviously Amy and Danni [Wyatt] can hopefully get us off to a good start which they did but unfortunately when we lost both of them quite quickly it was difficult to get a partnership.
“I was in most of the time and the batters coming in have a responsibility to hopefully get the partnership moving, try and get on strike and get a boundary.
“The quality of teams in this T20 World Cup has stepped up a notch. I’d love to hit a top-edge six when you need nine to win off one over like Mignon did. That would be great. Unfortunately, she got it away.
“You can see by the way they reacted that they believed that they could beat us and believed that they could be in the final. It wasn’t meant to be for us.”
African News Agency (ANA)