Canberra: The Proteas team have gathered in Canberra, Australia before their five-match, One-Day International (ODI ) series against the hosts during November 18-29.
The bilateral series will have the first three matches forming part of the ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge. The hosts have already qualified for the ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge. South Africa would require to win the first three matches to join New Zealand and England in the list of direct qualifiers.
As per format of the competition, the top four teams from the Women’s Championship achieve immediate qualification. Other qualifiers will be decided based on their performance at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 tournament in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 7-21 February.
Speaking about the challenge ahead, Proteas Women’s team captain, Dané van Niekerk believes that her side has prepared well ahead of the series.
Speaking about the preparation, she said, “The preparation here in Canberra has gone really well. The girls look really good, they look ready for the challenge ahead. The bowlers and batters have prepared really well for the roles that we have set out specifically for them and I’m quite excited to see what they will do out in the middle come tomorrow.”
The Proteas Women lost their warm up game against the Governor-General XI by two wickets in Sydney on Sunday, but van Niekerk believes they got what they needed from that match.
Speaking about the match, she said, “It wasn’t a bad match at all, I think the score we put up was par, but not a winning score in the end but we took a lot of positives from that. Suné (Luus) put up her hand and scored a 50, that was great to see because she usually bats at number nine. The bowlers also put up their hands and showed us that they are ready. The match gave us a chance to see what needed rectifying before we play Australia.”
All the matches will be day/night games which South Africa do not have a lot of experience playing in, but van Niekerk is confident her side is up to the task. She said, speaking about this new challenge, “It’s going to be difficult, they are not the number one team in the world for nothing, but it’s nice to challenge ourselves against the best in the world. Day/night games are going to be a really nice challenge for us and it’s going to be a new experience for many of the girls in our team. At the end of the day, it’s all the experiences you go through that make you better so we are excited to take on the challenge and give them a good go.”
The ODI series commences tomorrow at Canberra.
The Team: Dané van Niekerk, Dinesha Devnarain, Anneke Bosch, Mignon du Preez, Masabata Klaas, Lara Goodall, Chloe Tryon, Suné Luus, Odine Kirsten, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Moseline Daniels, Ayabonga Khaka, Sinalo Jafta.
18 November: First ODI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
20 November: Second ODI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
23 November: Third ODI, North Sydney Oval, North Sydney
27 November: Fourth ODI, Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
29 November: Fifth ODI, Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour