Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng has lamented the inconsistency of their batters, calling for them to learn to adapt to changing formats a lot faster.
South Africa suffered a 17-run defeat to the West Indies after failing to chase down their 125-run target in their five-match T20 series opener, but the coach is confident that the team can, and will, bounce back accordingly. The remainder of the series will be played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad starting this Friday night.
‘The turnaround time regarding the two formats [ODI and T20] is something for us to learn to adapt quicker to,’ he said. ‘You could see that most of the batters were still in ODI mode and then as the innings progressed they switched gears but, by then, it was too late. With the World T20 coming up really soon, this is something that we need to correct and very quickly.
‘I’d like to see a lot more intent as far as batting is concerned,’ added Moreeng. ‘The 124 that was posted is a score that I think we should have been able to chase down easily on any given day but it just didn’t happen. I want to see more partnerships being formed and better execution of the various skills that this team is blessed with in the matches to follow. The players are also disappointed with our start and I know that they are eager to get on to the park and rectify what they did in the first match.’
Moreeng is determined to build on the positives that he noted from the defeat, which saw four debutants in the South African starting XI, and he backs his side to level the series when they come up against the hosts in Friday’s day-night clash.
He also had high praise for the bowling unit, which has looked the most stable on this tour even though they have had to do without the experience of Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka. The former pulled out of the tour after her father suffered a heart attack shortly before the team was due to depart for the Caribbean, while the latter is in the middle of her rehabilitation programme after undergoing shoulder surgery following the team’s return from their tour of England.
Moreeng was also pleased with Chloe Tryon’s leadership in the match. Dane van Niekerk mildly sprained her ankle in the last ODI and missed the first match as she continued treatment. As vice-captain, Tryon took the reins and did an admirable job in the coach’s assessment.
‘Chloe did well as the captain on the day,’ he stated. ‘The nice thing about this team is that we have a solid leadership group that includes a vice-captain who sits in discussions and planning meetings and understands what needs to happen and where we want to see the team going, so it wasn’t something new to her.’
Van Niekerk’s presence and influence as a player was naturally missed during the first T20I.
‘As a captain, she brings her own special brand of leadership to the group and she’s had quite a year so far and has been our most consistent batter so in that respect yes, she was missed, but the team needs to learn to play with any combination and on the day. We needed players to raise their hands and take responsibility for the batting and that’s where we fell short,’ said Moreeng.
The series will be streamed live at www.windiescricket.com. Tomorrow’s match will start at 7pm local time (1am SAST) with updates available on Cricket South Africa’s social media platforms on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).
Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province)
Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal)
Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
Lizelle Lee (North West)
Suné Luus (Northerns)
Mignon du Preez (Northerns)
Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province)
Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng)
Masabata Klaas (North West)
Zintle Mali (Border)
Faye Tunnicliffe (Boland)
Robyn Searle (Gauteng)
Tumi Sekhukhune (Easterns)
Saarah Smith (Western Province).
Friday, 28 September: 2nd T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Sunday, 30 September: 3rd T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Wednesday, 03 October: 4th T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Saturday, 06 October: 5th T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Photo: Cricket South Africa (Facebook)