Proteas Women coach Hilton Moreeng says his side flattered to deceive during their England tour against the hosts and New Zealand.
The Proteas started the trip with much promise after beating their English counterparts by seven wickets in the opening ODI to go 1-0 up in the three-match series, but failed to impress in their remaining two matches and eventually lost the series 2-1.
They then participated in a historic tri-series that also involved New Zealand. The South Africans conceded world record scores on the opening day of the competition as they lost both games on the double-header occasion.
They bounced back with a victory over England in the next match, but it proved to be their only win as another loss to the White Ferns followed.
‘I think overall it was a very disappointing tour,’ Moreeng reflected. ‘Firstly because of the quality we have in the side and the way we started the series.
‘We set it up very well, the players played well and were 1-0 up in the first game with two to go, it required for us to just have that consistency that we always talk about, which we lacked as a team.
‘Again, it showed in the second and third games where we played good cricket in patches. We just couldn’t finish off and that would have won us the series.
‘I think what was very disappointing for us as a team was just to make sure that we identify those key moments in matches and we start playing them better as a team especially against teams of this nature. When you give them an opportunity, they tend to be able to come back in the game.
‘We offered them that opportunity once or twice and it ended up costing us the series. It was very disappointing and we’ll need to learn from it quickly.’
South Africa won the first match by seven wickets, then lost by 69 runs and seven wickets in the next two. In the T20s, they conceded 216 and then 250 on the first day, the second match resulting in a massive 121-run loss.
Moreeng, however, was much more optimistic about their showings in the shortest format.
‘It was a great experience for us to play in matches of that intensity against two of the best teams in world cricket on the same day,’ he continued.
‘It was mentally very challenging for the players but was still a great experience. It was a first for us to play in a double-header but as for the games, the bowling and the fielding weren’t up to scratch, hence the records we saw.’
The Proteas coach, whose side did bounce back to beat eventual tri-series winners England in their only win of the competition, conceded there plenty of lessons they were handed by the two sides.
‘We hadn’t played too much T20 cricket in the past year because the emphasis was on ODIs with the World Cup in that same year, so this was a huge lesson for us,’ he added.
‘We had this tour to see where the world was at and what was required for us to do going to the World T20. We sat down the day after and were able to iron out one or two things that needed to be done to improve.
‘The understanding now is also that scores of 150-160 are no longer good enough; you have to score more runs, we saw that when we played against two great sides,’ he went on.
‘We’re going to now have to quickly learn from it, try and rectify some of the wrongs and implement changes at the upcoming World T20. I think we will see South Africa compete more in a format that has always been one of the more challenging ones.’
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