South African skipper Sune Luus has said that despite the five-wicket loss to Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup league match on Tuesday, her side was far more confident going into the game against the West Indies at Basin Reserve on Thursday, as her players were able to muster 270-odd runs against the best in the business.
Opener Laura Wolvaardt missed a century by 10 runs, while Luus scored an almost run-a-ball 52 as the Proteas scored 271/5 in the contest against the six-time World Cup champions. But a hurricane unbeaten 135 from Australian skipper Meg Lanning made it a one-sided contest.
While Australia are leading the points table and have qualified for the semifinal knockouts, South Africa are second with eight points and need a win from their last two outings to make the last-4 grade.
Luus said the batters did a brilliant job against Australia, although the bowlers were a bit off-colour.
“Yeah, I think if you look at yesterday’s game, I think we batted brilliantly to get to 270. I think, obviously, they’re (Australia) one of the best bowling attacks in the world as well and for our batters to match that and to get 270. I think we did a brilliant job and I think that’s just evident to how hard the batters have been working and what we can do.
“It’s just about getting the bowlers to fight on the day as well and obviously, it didn’t happen yesterday (Tuesday), but I think that’s a rare thing for our bowlers, and I’m pretty sure they’ll bounce back again tomorrow (Thursday).”
Luus said the team was confident about pulling off a win against the Stafanie Taylor-led West Indies following the heartening batting performance against the No.1 WODI team in the world.
“Yeah, now pretty confident. Obviously yesterday didn’t go the way we planned. But that’s cricket. I think tomorrow we have a great opportunity to rectify some things we didn’t do as well yesterday. But a great opportunity for us tomorrow to secure that semifinal spot and just play good cricket,” said Luus.
She, however, conceded that there were some injuries worries for the Proteas, especially right-arm pacer Masabata Klaas.
“There’s still a bit of question marks around some players, but I’m sure the medical staff is on that. And yeah, we’ll have some reports back this afternoon or early tomorrow morning. I’m not sure about that one (Klaas). We still are waiting on medical for that.”
Luus also said that the series the Proteas played against the West Indies at home had given them the knowledge of what to expect in Thursday’s encounter.
“Now, obviously that series helped us a lot to prepare for the game tomorrow. I think we know all the players pretty well and we know what their game plan is going to be. I think it’s just for us to stick to our game plan and keep doing the basics right? And to make sure we are very clinical tomorrow.”