Proteas Europe Success

20070901Cricket1.jpg

Okay, so their victories didn’t come against top class opposition, but the South African women’s cricket team can be
proud of their efforts on their recent European tour, which provided a welcome
opportunity to test themselves against international opposition.

The tour
which started on 26 July and ended on 11 August saw South Africa win the
historic one-off four-day test against Netherlands in Rotterdam, beat the Dutch
three-nil in a ODI series and win both their limited overs encounters against
England A.

The only
blemish on their report card were their Twenty20 losses to England A and New Zealand in their final two
matches before returning home.

Convenor of
Selectors of South African Women’s Cricket, Geraldine Smith, told gsport: "Our team performed well even though
the Netherlands
is not considered one of the strongest sides. We beat the England A side which
is a stronger side than the Netherlands but will really only be able to answer
that question once we have played  the four strongest sides in the World
according to ranking ie New Zealand, Australia, India and England.

The only area
Smith feels the team under-performed was in the Twenty20 matches.

"In the teams
defence, we played no 20-over cricket prior to going over and it needed a very
different approach. The batsmen were put under extreme pressure to score big
runs right from the first over as the bowlers had not adapted quickly enough to
the conditions of 20-over game."

Sunette
Loubser, one of the stars on tour, also lamented the team’s performance in
Twenty20 matches, but agreed the tour was a success.

20070901Cricket2.jpg"I think we
played consistent cricket all through, had brilliant moments in our team, but the
nice thing for me is to know we can be better. It was a long and hard tour, but
what made it so nice is different people stepping up to take
responsibility. I think it takes pressure of certain people,
who could play to actually just enjoy the game. 

"Overall, I
think we had a very successful tour; we still have a lot of areas where
hard work needs to be done. Pity for the pro 20’s, but we can just learn
from it."

Personally,
Loubser was satisfied with her performance on tour which saw her pick up eight
wickets in the one-off test match, 11 wickets in four ODIs and 2 wickets in the
Twenty20 matches.

"I can’t
complain hey, got two 5’ers; couldn’t really ask for more than that. I did
think that I took too long to adapt to England’s way of playing in the
first game. I bowled my 10 overs for 2/35, but it could have been less runs. I
also bowled the wrong lines, but Noor (my coach) and I had a discussion about
it that evening, and the next day I bowled my 10 overs for 5/26.

"I’m fine
with making the mistakes if you can learn from it. In general it was such an
awesome tour.   I want to just play; the only way you really get better is
by doing this, real game situation. You can practice as much as you want but
you’ve got to be in the situation to learn how to cope with it."

Chairperson
of Cricket South Africa’s women’s cricket committee, Kerri Laing, says for now
the focus is on the provincial league, which starts in October, but the
national team will also have one eye on the World Cup qualifier in Pakistan in
November.

"Obviously
if/when we win the qualifier, we have to plan enough cricket for the women,
before the World Cup in Australia
in March 2009.

"We are
looking at a tour of England
in 2008 and I believe India
have shown some interest in touring South Africa in the next year or
so.
The next training
camp will be in held at the end of September beginning of October."

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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