Photo Credit: Richard Huggard / Gallo Image / Cricket South Africa
Captain Suné Luus believes South Africa will have to play with an element of bravado if they are to record their maiden T20 International victory over Australia in the all-important ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 Group 1 clash at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Saturday.
The Proteas Women’s match-up against the reigning champions will get underway at 19h00 (SAST) and will be preceded by another mouth-watering contest between England and India, which kicks off at 15h00 (SAST) as part of an exciting double-header in the windy city.
All the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport Grandstand (Ch. 201) and SuperSport Cricket (Ch. 212).
Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday, Luus highlighted South Africa’s narrow results in the previous T20 encounters against the team from Down Under, with the home side yet to pick up a win in the five matches played between the two nations.
“If you look at all the previous games we’ve played against them, it’s been always close games,” the skipper commented.
“I don’t think they’ve ever run away with a game, which is giving us a lot of confidence at the moment because we have a world class batting attack, a world class bowling attack and (we are up) against a world class team as well.
“It’s going to be a great clash tomorrow. I don’t think there’s going to be any reason for us to stand back. The only way to beat a team like Australia is if you take the fight to them and that’s definitely what we’re going to try and do,” she added.
The last time these two sides faced off in a T20 match came in the semi-finals of the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, where the Aussies claimed a hard-fought, five-run victory through the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method after persistent rain plagued the match in Sydney.
Although it is almost three years removed from that disappointing day for South Africa, the overhead conditions could play another key role in tomorrow’s clash as rainfall has been predicted in Gqeberha.
“The rain is out of our control,” Luus remarked. “It looks like it might clear up for our game but we just take it as it comes. We know Australia is a very strong side and we’re going to have to put in a very good performance if we are to beat them.
“Whether it’s raining or not, we just got to stay focused on the task,” the all-rounder said.
Ahead of the match against the five-time winners, Luus also discussed her ever-evolving role as a captain and leader within the South African dressing room, accentuating the enormity of gaining insight from the opposition and possibly becoming the first Proteas Women captain to defeat Australia across all formats.
“It’s very exciting for me, having to take on a (home) World Cup and a side like Australia, that’s the moment you live for and knowing that I can be the first captain to do that (win), that’s very exciting.
“I’m still growing into the role and it’s very exciting to know that there’s still a lot of things that I need to learn and can learn. Playing against a team like Australia, there’s just so many things that you can take from that team afterwards, and that you can learn and grow from,” she concluded.
Victory against Australia will help South Africa keep their semi-final fate in their own hands before completing their round-robin phase with a battle against Bangladesh at the Newlands Cricket Ground on Tuesday, 21 November at 19h00 (SAST).
Momentum Proteas 15 player squad for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup South Africa 2023:
Suné Luus (Titans) (Captain), Chloé Tryon (Dolphins) (Vice-Captain), Anneke Bosch (North West Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province), Annerie Dercksen (Garden Route Badgers), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Dolphins), Sinalo Jafta (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Lions), Masabata Klaas (North West Dragons), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Dolphins), Delmi Tucker (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
South Africa’s Fixtures – ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023
Saturday, 18 February – 19h00 (SAST)
Group A – Match 3 – South Africa vs Australia (St George’s Park, Gqeberha)
Tuesday, 21 February – 19h00 (SAST)
Group A Match 4 – South Africa vs Bangladesh (Newlands, Cape Town)
Thursday, 23 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Semi-Final 1 (Newlands, Cape Town)
Friday, 24 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Semi-Final 2 (Newlands, Cape Town)
Sunday, 26 February – 15h00 (SAST)
Final (Newlands, Cape Town)