In-form SA leg-spinner Dané van Niekerk believes that the senior SA women's team is ready to take on the West Indies. Van Niekerk top-scored for the Proteas in their Friday loss to New Zealand, and also took 2 wickets for 29 runs, an effort that places her fourth in the ICC Women's World T20 bowler's rankings. With an opening win over hosts Sri Lanka, SA will qualify for the semi-finals if they beat West Indies on Sunday. Photo: SuppliedThe Proteas Women are geared up for their most important match in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 (T20) Sri Lanka 2012 against the West Indies on Sunday.

This match will determine whether they will make it to the semi-final stage of the tournament or play for the fifth and sixth place play-offs.

South Africa had an early morning practice session in preparation for this all-or-nothing match and leg spin superstar, Dané van Niekerk, believes that the side is ready. She has had a very good tournament so far, coming in fourth place in the tournament’s best bowling figures.

Van Niekerk has taken four wickets for 38 in eight overs at an average of 9.50. She has also done well with the bat, top scoring for South Africa in yesterday’s losing match against New Zealand with 34 off 28 balls and taking two wickets for 29.

“I’m really happy with my personal performance in the tournament thus far. It’s taken a lot of hard work and practice to get here but now that I am, it feels good being able to contribute positively. The team is in a really good space as well, being on the sub-continent for almost a month has been really good for us in terms of preparation,” she said.

Van Niekerk believes that the squad’s tour to Bangladesh has given the players invaluable experience. It will be the key now that they face this do-or-die match against the Windies, with whom they have always enjoyed a healthy rivalry.

“We’re pretty good friends with the ladies from the Windies but the rivalry is definitely there. It’s all very healthy and fun. Both our teams are evenly matched for the game tomorrow and they know that. I think it’ll be about confidence and who utilizes it best,” Van Niekerk continued.

Both South Africa and the West Indies have played two matches in the tournament so far and both have won and lost one each. West Indies are currently second in the Group B log, edging out South Africa on net run rate but Van Niekerk believes South Africa are still in with a chance.

“I really believe we can pull this off. We have done all the ground work, we know our game plans. The best and hungriest team will win this,” she concluded.

 

SA ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Fixtures and Results, at Galle Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka:
Wed 26 Sep: South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets
Fri 28 Sep: New Zealand beat South Africa by 22 runs
Sun 30 Sep: South Africa vs West Indies (06h00 SA local time)