Sunday, November 27, 2022

CSA: Ntozakhe – A simple gameplan will be key against Garden Route Badgers

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DP World Lions spinner, Raisibe Ntozakhe believes her side will have to go back to the drawing board and assume a simplistic approach against the newly-promoted Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers as the CSA Women’s Provincial One-Day Cup and T20 Cup continues this weekend.

In the only Division One matchup, the Lions will host the Garden Route Badgers at the DP World Wanderers Stadium in the 50-over encounter on Saturday, 08 October before the action-packed T20 clash the following day.

In Division Two, Limpopo will go head-to-head with Benoni-based outfit, Eastern Storm across the two formats at the Polokwane Cricket Club in a reduced weekend of women’s domestic action.

All the matches get underway at 10h00 SAST, with the live stream available on Pitch Vision.

The Lions began their 2022 / 23 season with a mixed bag of results last weekend, going down with a nine-wicket defeat after being dismissed for 84 in 27.2 overs by the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the One-Day Cup before bouncing back superbly in the T20 Cup, earning a bonus point victory.

Ahead of the battle against the Badgers, Ntozakhe reflected on the Lions’ opening round of matches before highlighting the team’s aim going into the weekend.

“We didn’t really perform to the best of our ability,” the 25-year-old noted. “We batted first and made a total of 84 runs and that total was not good enough, it was not up to our standard.

“We didn’t pitch up on the day but the discussions that we had after the first game were pretty tough, we had to remind ourselves of the type of players that we are and the type of brand that we want to play.

“On a bright note, we really outdid ourselves on Sunday. We pitched up and we came with good intent. We had clear plans in place in terms of what we want to achieve on the day, especially in our batting. The two games were a bit sketchy, but I think the second game on Sunday boosted our confidence coming into this week’s two games,” she added.

“The aim (against the Badgers) would be to just reset,” Ntozakhe continued. “It’s a new team, we don’t know the brand of cricket that they play.

“In order for us to be successful, we (should) keep our heads down and keep things simple and not over-complicate things and think a lot. Bowlers must just hit their straps and work out our plans and the brand of cricket that we want to play as a team; playing as one and being there for each other.

“That is the most important thing we need to do as a team; keeping it simple and as clinical as possible, that is something that will help us to be successful against the Garden Route Badgers,” she said.

Although the focus for Ntozakhe and the Lions remains on the task at hand facing them this weekend, the Mokopane-born cricketer also harbours dreams of representing the Momentum Proteas at the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 being hosted on home soil in February next year.

Ntozakhe has laid out her goals for the season and aims to use her season with the Lions as a springboard to improve technically and performance-wise in order to earn a place in the 15-player squad when the global showpiece kicks off.

“It would be a huge honour for me to play on home soil during a World Cup. It’s every girl’s dream to play for the Proteas and also to play in the World Cup with home ground advantage,” she commented.

“It’s a great feeling for me that the World Cup is coming at home and the skill I want to sharpen mostly is my batting. I really want to become an all-rounder and not just a bowler. I would rather be a bowling all-rounder and contribute with the bat wherever I would be batting.

“I (also) want to be able to contribute with the ball, learning a lot of variations; that is something I want to work on, and I am pretty sure I will execute it during the domestic games that I will be playing.

“I want to up my game, up my tempo, be more aggressive with the bat and then we will see from there. I am really happy and excited, and we will see if I do make the 15-woman squad for the World Cup,” Ntozakhe concluded.

Week 2 – Fixtures:

CSA Women’s Provincial One-Day Cup (All matches start at 10h00 SAST)
Saturday, 08 October –
Division One:
DP World Lions vs Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers (DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg)
Division Two:
Limpopo vs Eastern Storm (Polokwane Cricket Club, Polokwane)

CSA Women’s Provincial T20 Cup (All matches start at 10h00 SAST)
Sunday, 09 October –
Division One:
DP World Lions vs Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers (DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg)
Division Two:
Limpopo vs Eastern Storm (Polokwane Cricket Club, Polokwane)

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