POTCHEFSTROOM – The SA women’s cricket team are looking forward to the start of their three-match, One-Day International series against Pakistan on Monday.
It is the home team’s first tour after their successful encounter against Sri Lanka in March that saw them claim their fourth consecutive series whitewash at home after beating the visitors 3-0 in both the ODI and T20 series.
The last time the sides met, South Africa emerged the winners by three wickets in their opening match of the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England. Before that, it was again the Proteas who were the 2-1 ODI series victors in Sharjah in the UAE,after losing the first fixture.
Pakistan have also enjoyed a successful start to the year, having secured an historic, 2-1 series win against West Indies in Dubai. It was their first series win against the ladies from the Caribbean.
Interim Proteas captain, Suné Luus is looking forward to leading the team while Dané van Niekerk continues her recovery from a stress fracture of the neck of the femur. The 23-year-old is pleased with the quality of her team’s preparation over the last few days.
“I think our preparation’s been very good,” said Luus. “We had two warm-up games and in all the games a few of the players stepped up and we worked on our lines and lengths and what our plans are gonna be on these types of wickets. Everyone’s in high spirits and ready to go.
“I think the batters are looking very good at the moment. In both games (warm-up) we had good opening starts. Hundred-run partnerships in both and everyone coming in from there played their role very well, so I’m really excited to see what the batters are going to give us this whole tour.
“Dané (van Niekerk) was here for the pre-tour camp, kinda just giving guidance and some advice,” she continued. “We had a good chat where she kinda also handed over the captaincy to me for this tour. It was a very cool moment for me, just knowing that she backs me and that the whole team is behind me being captain.”
With Pakistan’s predominantly spin-bowling attack, the young skipper is confident her team has done its due diligence ahead of the ODI series that has six crucial Women’s Championship points up for grabs.
“We’ve worked on spin quite a bit so I think everyone has a plan for what is coming,” Luus explained. “Even for the tour against Sri Lanka, we put in quite a lot of work in our game plans for spin and we’ve kept all those lessons with us. Everyone is well prepared for what is coming tomorrow and for the rest of the tour.
“We’re not looking too far ahead of ourselves, we’re just going to take it one game at a time, but everyone is very motivated because we know that getting those six points is very important,” she concluded.
African News Agency (ANA)