Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
Momentum Proteas head coach, Hilton Moreeng believes his side will be well-prepared for the challenge posed by hosts Ireland in the first T20 International (T20I) clash taking place on Friday, 03 June at the Pembroke Cricket Club in Dublin.
The first of three T20I matches gets underway from 16h30 local time (17h30 SA Time) and it will be streamed live on the DSTV Now App, Channel 247 and via the Cricket Ireland streaming platform www.livestream.com/CricketIrelandLive.
The Proteas Women last faced the Irish in the shortest format back in 2016 where the series ended one-all following a historic first-ever win over South Africa for Ireland, claiming a 20-run win in the series opener in Dublin.
Despite the drawn series, Moreeng believes the team and the likes of Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty and Chloé Tryon as well as Suné Luus and Ayabonga Khaka who all played six years ago, will have a decent knowledge base of the opposition and conditions, despite coming up against a largely unfamiliar outfit.
“The players know what is coming. Some of them have been here, so we more or less know what to expect, which is very good,” the coach commented.
“Some of the players were very young and for them, they are really looking forward to this because it is something different now. They are coming back as much more matured and experienced players, so they are looking forward to test themselves.
“The most important thing for us now is that yesterday’s (Wednesday) session gave us a lot of information and now we can see how we can put on one or two plans together heading into the last session before we make sure we are ready for tomorrow,” he added.
In T20 cricket, the Proteas hold a convincing record over Ireland, having won nine matches out of the 10 they have played. Despite being firm favourites on paper, with South Africa ranked fifth while Ireland sits 12 th on the ICC Women’s T20 Rankings, Moreeng is not taking the opponent for granted.
“We know it’s a team that plays well in their conditions, they received their ODI status and as a team they also want to do well. They are improving every day, that’s why they have such a young team, and they can see how they can push on and make sure they improve as a country.
“For us it is just to make sure we guard against anything else that is external and just focus on what we can do and what we’ve been doing in the last couple of years. We know T20 cricket, it brings teams together as far as skill is concerned, so it is going to be very interesting on how we go about it.
“The first 10 overs will set the tone for the tour,” he stated.
The last time the Proteas Women played T20 cricket was part of the tour to the West Indies in September last year, with Moreeng’s charges ending the three-match series level with one win apiece after the last encounter ended as a no result.
With the team having performed admirably during this year’s ICC Women’s 50-over Cricket World Cup to reach the semi-finals in New Zealand, Moreeng expectedly believes the team will have to take a different approach to the shorter format.
“It’s a mental shift,” he noted. “The good thing is that the players play a lot of T20 cricket, at home or around the world, so it is not something that needs so much adaptation, and it is about just refocusing on what we want to achieve as a team, and we bring that together.
“They know there is a bigger picture. Everyone wants to be in the final squad that goes into the World Cup, so they need to make sure that the opportunities that they are given, they put up their hands and they compete like we know they can.
This T20I series will be the first of six matches before the team’s appearance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in late July – August before South Africa hosts the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup in February next year.
Momentum Proteas Squad for Ireland Tour:
Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Ayabonga Khaka (Imperial Lions), Sune Luus (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Imperial Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Lions), Andrie Steyn (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Chloe Tryon (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Six Gun Grill Western Province)
Momentum Proteas Tour to Ireland Itinerary:
T20 International Series:
Friday, 03 June – 1 st T20I – Ireland vs South Africa (Pembroke, Dublin)
Monday, 06 June – 2 nd T20I – Ireland vs South Africa (Pembroke, Dublin)
Wednesday, 08 June – 3 rd T20I – Ireland vs South Africa (Pembroke, Dublin)
All T20I matches will start at 16h30 local time (17h30 SA time)
One-Day International Series:
Saturday, 11 June – Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf, Dublin)
Tuesday, 14 June– Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf, Dublin)
Friday, 17 June – Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf¸ Dublin)
All ODI matches will start at 10h45 local time (11h45 SA Time)