South Africa have eyes set on In­dia chal­lenge

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS

SOUTH Africa may have suf­fered their first de­feat at the ICC Women’s World Cup, but all-rounder Chloe Tryon in­sists there re­mains a be­lief in the camp that they can do “some­thing spe­cial”.

Ty­ron played a big hand in the Proteas’ ul­ti­mately un­suc­cess­ful run-chase in Bris­tol when the pow­er­ful KwaZulu-Natal­ian smashed a quick-fire 54 off just 26 balls as South Africa be­came the first team in women’s cricket to pass the 300-run mark in the se­cond in­nings of an ODI.

When Tryon was at the crease there was cer­tainly a pos­si­bil­ity that South Africa could hunt down Eng­land’s mam­moth 373/5. How­ever, the 23-year-old’s dis­missal in the 44th over pre­cip­i­tated a col­lapse that saw South Africa’s chal­lenge fiz­zle out.

“We re­ally be­lieved that we could do it. Ev­ery bat­ter that came to the crease played with a lot of in­tent and pos­i­tiv­ity,” Tryon said from Le­ices­ter.

“When I came to the crease I be­lieved we could still do it. I didn’t have much time to still get my eye in, be­cause the run-rate was close to 10-runs per over al­ready, so it was just a case of ‘see ball, hit ball’. I was quite dis­ap­pointed when I got out be­cause I told my­self I wanted to be there at the end, so an­other five overs could re­ally have made a dif­fer­ence.”

There is cer­tainly a dis­cus­sion to be had around Tryon’s po­si­tion in the Proteas’ bat­ting or­der. With her abil­ity to clear the bound­ary al­most at will, there is a case to be made why Tryon did not come to the crease ahead of her cap­tain Dane van Niek­erk with the run-rate es­ca­lat­ing.

Van Niek­erk, bat­ting at No 5, man­aged just nine off 15 balls at a pal­try strike-rate of 60 in com­par­i­son to Tryon’s amaz­ing strike-rate 207.69.

“I of­ten speak to the coach (Hil­ton Moreeng) about my flex­i­bil­ity. He knows he can send me in, in any sit­u­a­tion. But all the girls are re­ally do­ing well and I’ll try to use the op­por­tu­ni­ties I do get,” Tryon ex­plained.

South Africa don’t have too much time to re­flect on the Eng­land de­feat though. An­other mas­sive chal­lenge awaits the Proteas to­mor­row at Grace Road when they face an in-form In­dia team.

The Indians are cur­rently un­beaten after four games at this World Cup and sit on top of the ta­ble with de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia. In­dia de­feated hosts Eng­land in the tour­na­ment opener, which show­cased their class.

The Proteas are well ac­quainted with the Indians though hav­ing con­tested a re­cent Quad­ran­gu­lar Se­ries with the sub-con­ti­nent team in Potchef­stroom. Tryon was par­tic­u­lar dev­as­tat­ing in one of the matches against In­dia when she clubbed an un­beaten 77 off just 39 balls. The in­nings in­cluded five bound­aries and six max­i­mums.

“Yeah we have a bit of ri­valry with the Indians,” Tryon chuck­led. “We’ve played them quite a bit and know many of their play­ers, so it’s re­ally go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing chal­lenge. They are play­ing bril­liant cricket at the mo­ment but we be­lieve we can pull off some­thing spe­cial.”

The ICC has con­firmed that the Event Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 has ap­proved Odine Kirsten as the re­place­ment for An­drie Steyn in the South Africa squad for the tour­na­ment. Steyn in­jured her an­kle dur­ing train­ing.

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