The Proteas women fell short in both warm-up matches against the Titans Academy boys side, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
The women’s national cricket team continued their preparations for the West Indies tour by playing a couple of warm-up matches at Groenkloof Oval against the Titans Academy boys, and it appears that there’s still a lot of work to be done in the batting department.
The Proteas failed to reach 150 runs in both of their T20 fixtures as they lost to the Titans Academy first by six wickets in the morning fixture, and then by six runs in the afternoon clash.
Laura Wolvaardt was the standout batter on Saturday, scoring 69 not out off 52 balls in an innings that saw only her and Sune Luus (16 off 14 balls) get into double figures. Wolvaardt’s effort helped her team post 123-6 in their 20 overs. With a low total to defend, the bowling attack courageously took on the challenge and made it a tough contest.
Zintle Mali (2-22) and Raisibe Ntozakhe (1-19) were at the forefront of a well-drilled attack as the women’s side kept it close throughout the second innings before conceding the winning runs in the final over.
The second match was another close encounter as the Proteas were set a target of 153 by the Titans Academy and narrowly missed out by six runs. Mali shone once again with the ball, picking up 1-19, while Luus got rid of the dangerous Jano Moller (62 off 47 balls, nine fours, two sixes) ended with figures of 2-34.
Wolvaardt started the second innings brightly and looked a woman on a mission but before being run out for her side’s top score of 34 off 28 balls (seven fours). Batting at number seven, wicketkeeper-batter Faye Tunnicliffe looked set to lead the team to victory with 30 off 20 balls (three fours, one six) but she was run out with three balls left in the innings, which proved to be the team’s downfall as they fell short by just six runs.
There’s no doubt that a lot of positives can be drawn from both encounters (especially in the bowling department) but it appears that a few of the batting demons experienced by the team during the Tri-Series against England and New Zealand still linger, and will need to be addressed before the WI tour, especially with the T20 World Cup around the corner.
Photos: Cricket South Africa (Facebook)