Suné Luus chooses to look at the positives from their lost match against Australia in Taunton yesterday. She believes that, even though the team fell 59 runs short in the end, the match went a long way in identifying areas that the team needs to work on before they face England in the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup in Bristol on Tuesday.
“I think we had a great start with the ball,” she said. “Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail started very well but I think we just let it slip in the middle overs. The way we brought it back when it looked as though they would reach 300 or 320 was good as well.
“From a batting point of view, I think that although we lost Lizelle Lee early, the way Trisha Chetty and Laura Wolvaardt went about the first 20 to 25 overs was brilliant.”
The 21-year-old took 5/67 against the defending champions, but she wants to do better.
“It’s always nice to take a five-for, but if the team doesn’t win, it’s not really as exciting as it should be. I want to put in more performances the result in more of those but also put the team in a winning position,” she continued.
It is only the second time ever that South Africa have qualified for the semi-final stage of the Women’s World Cup. The last time they achieved this was 17 years ago, in 2000. Luus hopes that this will be the year that the team can make history and reach the final, but in order for this to happen she believes that a more comprehensive performance is needed in all three disciplines of the game.
“All the department need to work together finally as a unit,” she elaborated. “The bowlers need to bowl the middle overs as well as they do the first few and the last few overs of the match, the batters need to not lose early wickets up front and wickets in clusters in the middle period. We need to also be really sharp when we field.”
That being said, Luus is very proud of the team and its achievements so far. She admits that they have done a lot of things well during the competition and the side’s growth over the last few years could only culminate in this milestone.
“Our bowling attack has been very good in this tournament,” she continued. “With the exception of the game against England, I think we have shown that we do have the best bowling attack in the world. The batting has really improved as well, in previous tournaments, we could never get to 250, now we’re scoring 300s against England and that just shows how much the ladies have grown.”
Looking ahead to their match against the hosting nation, the fearless youngster asserted that there is no gap to close now that both teams have reached the semis.
“Once you get into the semi-final there’s no ‘this is a more superior team’ or ‘this is the inferior team,’ I think everyone is equal once they have reached this stage. Both teams have done really well to get there, there’s a reason why every team is in the semi-final. I think it’s gonna be a great game of cricket.”