Photo Credit: ICC
England head coach Lisa Keightley has shouldered the blame for her side’s third consecutive loss at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 after a narrow three-wicket defeat to South Africa.
The defending champions batted first and set South Africa 236 to win as Tammy Beaumont top-scored with 62 but a fine 77 from Laura Wolvaardt and late hitting from Marizanne Kapp swung the game to the Proteas.
Kapp had earlier taken five for 45 for her first international five-wicket haul before setting up Shabnim Ismail and Trisha Chetty to knock off the final 10 runs.
The win was South Africa’s first over England in a World Cup for 20 years, while it marks the first time England have lost three games in a row at a World Cup after earlier defeats to Australia and West Indies.
“As a coach, I take a huge amount of responsibility. It’s up to me to drive the team and get the wins on the board, that’s the job of the coach,” Keightley said.
“And we’re trying really hard, the coaching staff and myself, to get the players up and about and we don’t have to do too much.
“The players are pretty gutted and they were pretty gutted after the last match and they wanted to bounce back. They were unable to do it, so responsibility and the buck lies with me and I’m happy to cop that.
“Moving forward, do I feel the pressure? I don’t feel any more pressure than what the players feel and I’m no more disappointed than the players.
“We came into this World Cup wanting to play better than we have and we haven’t and it’s been frustrating.”
After a winless Ashes series, Keightley’s side have not tasted victory all winter and fielding errors have crept into their performances with more dropped chances and missed stumpings today.
But Keightley is unable to explain what is causing the mistakes in the field.
She said: “We haven’t really put our finger on it really, we have fielded pretty well throughout the Ashes and took a lot more chances than we have today.
“I can’t really put a finger on it. The last two days, we’ve trained really well and the girls have been up and about and putting a lot of effort in.
“We just haven’t got the rewards in the games that it matters, so I don’t really know to be sure. It is something that we’ll have to think about when we review after this World Cup.”
For now, attention turns to India who they face on the same ground in Tauranga on Wednesday, with England needing to win all off their remaining games and then hope other results go their way to qualify for the semi-finals.
Keightley added: “We’re trying hard to get those wins and once I think we win a close one, we’ll get a bit of momentum and finish strong.
“We’ve just got to dust ourselves off, come back out in two days’ time and play the way we want to play.”
England were up against another vintage performance from all-rounder Kapp who had starred on English soil in the final of the Hundred.
Today she beat even those figures of four for nine with a maiden five-fer for South Africa before hitting 32 from 42 balls to put South Africa on the brink.
After being given out LBW off the bowling of Anya Shrubsole in the penultimate over, Kapp spent a long time talking to Trisha Chetty and incoming batter Shabnim Ismail.
She said: “First of all, I said, sorry. I knew I was supposed to end it there for us, but I had a lot of confidence in the two of them.
“I told Trisha, like if I’m given out now, you take charge, you take the lead, we only need a run a ball and I back the both of you and I said the same to Shabnim. Just watch the ball and don’t be scared.”