Dinesha Devnarain spoke proudly about her team’s performance after the Proteas concluded their tour to Ireland on Thursday.
Even thought the series was dead and buried at 3-0, the South African ladies ended their trip with a disappointing seven-wicket loss to the hosts on the final day of the tour.
With Devnarain stepping up in the absence of Dane van Niekerk – who’s playing in the English Super League – the interim captain was delighted with the result of the tour despite the two-match T20 International series ending 1-1 earlier this month.
‘We won the series, which is brilliant and what we came to do,’ she said. ‘Unfortunately with the brand of cricket we’ve been playing, I would have loved to have finished off on a high, but so it is, but I’m very proud of the girls.’
There were loads of positives to take from the tour, despite this being the first loss against the Irish. Seventeen-year-old opening batsman, Laura Wolvaardt, became the youngest ever South African to score a century when she scored 105 off 125 balls in the deciding match, with former captain Mignon du Preez scoring an outstanding 116 off 99 balls in match two.
Special mentions go out to Chloe Tryon (92) and Trisha Chetty (95). Chetty’s near century helped her surpass the 2 000-run mark in ODIs, becoming the first SA women’s cricketer to do so. Sune Luus starred with the ball, picking up 14 wickets in the four games, making sure the the Proteas dominated in all facets of the tour.
‘To watch the girls grow was definitely a high,’ Devnarain explained. ‘Losing the way we did by not playing our type of cricket was probably the low. A couple of girls getting into the 90s and not getting to three figures was a little disappointing, but all in all, there were more highs than lows.’
Even though some senior players were missing, Devnarain felt they were not missed as the protease sped away with the series.
‘I think that was the beauty about the tour,’ she added. ‘We knew we were short of senior players, but the girls stepped up and played cricket as if they weren’t the juniors of the team.
‘They took their skills very seriously and executed brilliantly, which is what we want from a management point of view and is great to see.’
Devnarain, who turns 28 in November, who has played in 20 ODIs and 22 T20s for the Proteas, emphasised how memorable it was for her to lead her country.
‘Not many people can say that they captained their country and I’m very fortunate to have done that on this tour,’ Devnarain concluded. ‘I’ve tried my best to lead my country with pride and it’s a memory that I will never forget.’
Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images