Photo Credit: Michael SheehanGall/ Cricket South Africa
A reinvigorated Sinalo Jafta is pleased to be back behind the stumps for the Momentum Proteas as the hosts continue their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 preparations with a return leg against the West Indies in the T20 International Tri-Series on Wednesday, 25 January at the Buffalo Park Stadium in East London.
The clash against the West Indies gets underway at 15h00 (SAST), with the match broadcast live on SuperSport Cricket (Ch. 212).
Jafta returned to competitive action in the opening Tri-Series encounter against India last week Thursday, playing her first match since the last group stage game against Sri Lanka at the inaugural Women’s T20 competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“Taking the time off (for personal reasons) was one of the best things that could have happened to me,” the wicketkeeper batter commented. “I put a lot of stuff in perspective and just being back and wearing the colours for me is probably one the biggest blessings.
“We saw the performance against India, you could see that we haven’t actually played together as a team in a while. The second game against the West Indies is where we actually started focusing on the basics. We know this is the journey towards the World Cup, so it’s good being back,” Jafta added.
In the Tri-Series that also features India, South Africa take on the West Indies in their third match of the mini-tournament hoping to match India’s two wins, while improving their overall T20I record against the Windies, which sits at six wins out of 21 encounters.
In the first game between the two sides this past Saturday, the Proteas Women produced a clinical 44-run victory over their subcontinent foes, with star all-rounder Marizanne Kapp smashing a 43-ball half-century, while seamer Masabata Klaas picked up career-best figures of four for 21.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Jafta noted the significance of the match in the wider context of World Cup readiness.
“Every game for us as a team is very important leading up to the World Cup. There’s been a lot of improvements and positives to take from the last game but we can’t be complacent, we always want to push barriers and obviously get better each and every single game.
“From my personal capacity, the focus is on the basics behind the stumps and figuring out how to work the angles and keeping my bowler’s energy up and also the fielding aspect of it. With the bat, it is about going out there and showing intent,” the 28-year-old noted.
The ongoing series is also especially important for Jafta, as she takes on the mantle of being the first choice wicketkeeper following the unavailability of veteran ‘keeper, Trisha Chetty who is battling with a back injury.
Jafta, who has 20 T20I caps to her name, is also the most senior specialist wicketkeeper in the group that also includes uncapped Fidelity Titans star, Tebogo Macheke, and the East London-born player had kind words to say about her inexperienced colleague.
“I have been working with her over the last four years. We’ve been together at the Emerging (side) with Coach Dinesha and all the other coaches. The one thing I have seen is that she is a real hard worker and any advice I would give her is to not let that go and if an opportunity comes, she must grab it with both hands,” Jafta concluded.
Momentum Proteas 17-player squad for T20I Series (vs India and West Indies):
Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans) (Captain), Chloé Tryon (Hollywoodbets Dolphins) (Vice-Captain), Anneke Bosch (North West Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), *Annerie Dercksen (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Sinalo Jafta (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (DP World Lions), Masabata Klaas (North West Dragons), *Tebogo Macheke (Fidelity Titans), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tumi Sekhukhune (DP World Lions), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Six Gun Grill Western Province)
T20I Tri-Series (South Africa, India, West Indies)
Wednesday, 25 January 2023 – 15h00 SAST
4th Tri-Series T20I: South Africa vs West Indies (Buffalo Park, East London)
Saturday, 28 January 2023 – 19h00 SAST
5th Tri-Series T20I: South Africa vs India (Buffalo Park, East London)
Monday, 30 January 2023 – 15h00 SAST
6th Tri-Series T20I: West Indies vs India (Buffalo Park, East London)
Thursday, 02 February 2023 – 15h00 SAST
Tri-Series Final (Buffalo Park, East London)