Mignon du Preez is not taking Sri Lanka for granted as the Proteas Women prepare for the crucial clash in Taunton on Wednesday.
The side can go a long way towards securing a spot in the semi-finals with a victory over Sri Lanka, this after their 115-run victory against India on Saturday. They are currently in fifth, but have the advantage in terms of the sides around them in the standings needing to play each other.
‘We knew that the game against India was a must-win for us to make sure that we still have a chance of getting to the semi-finals,’ Du Preez said. ‘The girls did a brilliant job, just the way that Lizelle (Lee) batted up front to set up the innings was great to see. There were moments where we didn’t play as well as we could have, we lost a few quick wickets, but all in all, I felt as though everyone chipped in, it was a nice all-round team performance.
‘Once again, our bowlers were absolutely brilliant. It was the same venue as the West Indies game, so I think the girls really like to play there.’
After a long bus ride to Somerset on Sunday, Du Preez believes that the team showed good intensity at Monday’s practice session, especially after they were given time off on Sunday and all decided to spend it together, getting away from the game.
‘It was good to get together and buy some snacks and have a comedy night at the hotel, getting away from the game and not talking about the tournament or how the other teams are doing,’ she said.
‘We’re at a new venue today, it’s slightly different, but fortunately we had some strips on the field for the batters to be able to see what it might be like to bat here. It looks like the conditions are going to be fairly different from Leicester.
‘Our main aim was to get a feel of what the ground is like, what the wicket feels like and the wind direction because it’s quite windy today and looks to stay that way over the next few days.’
Sri Lanka have yet to win a match in the tournament so far and Du Preez is aware that they would want to change that with a win against South Africa. She says that they will not underestimate them.
‘In a World Cup event we would never take any opposition lightly,’ she went on. ‘We’ve been beaten by them before in an ICC tournament. We know we’ll have to bring our A-game when we play them. You can’t think that just because a team hasn’t won a match yet that you will get an easy win. This is a must-win game for us to make sure that we stay alive in the competition and reach the semis, which is our first goal.
‘We’ll have a look at the opposition of course, but we’ll spend most of our time on our game plans and making sure that we execute them to the best of our ability come match day.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images