Van Niek­erk looks to out­smart Eng­land

Daily News - - SPORT - CRICKET

HOVE: It was runs ga­lore in the sec­ond ICC Women’s Cham­pi­onship one-day in­ter­na­tional (ODI) be­tween Eng­land and South Africa, as the vis­i­tors suc­cumbed to a 69-run de­feat in Hove on Tues­day.

South Africa’s cap­tain, Dane van Niek­erk, ex­pressed her dis­ap­point­ment in her side’s per­for­mance, both with bat and ball af­ter the all-rounder had won the toss and elected to field first in Tues­day’s clash.

“It wasn’t hard luck. I think it just was bad ex­e­cu­tion as a bowling and a bat­ting unit,” Van Niek­erk com­mented. “It is hard to say with the toss be­cause we spoke as a team and we were all happy to bowl first. You never quite know what to ex­pect in Eng­land. We tried to check the stats, and it was 50-50, so we just went with what we’re com­fort­able with.

“At the end of the day, if we bowled sec­ond in the way we did to­day, we would have fetched leather as well.”

Al­though un­happy with the team’s dis­play, the skip­per credits the hosts for their proac­tive ap­proach through­out the game, with Tammy Beau­mont (101) and Sarah Tay­lor (118) – af­ter their record-break­ing 275-run stand at last year’s World Cup – con­tin­u­ing their im­pres­sive record against South Africa.

They shared a 156-run part­ner­ship for the sec­ond wicket to help Eng­land to a com­mand­ing to­tal of 331/6 at the end of their al­lot­ted overs.

“You al­ways have to look at both as­pects,” Van Niek­erk con­tin­ued. “They played re­ally well and brought the game to us. We ex­pected it to hap­pen and that is the frus­trat­ing thing for me on the field, we didn’t fight for our wick­ets on a pitch that had no seam move­ment or any­thing. We didn’t sum up the con­di­tions well, and I guess the score­card speaks for it­self.”

There were some pos­i­tives to pick out from the match for the Proteas though, with Chloe Tryon once again show­ing her power in the mid­dle or­der, as she scored a rapid 44 from 26 de­liv­er­ies. The most praise in the camp had to go to Lizelle Lee, who added to her un­beaten 92 from the first ODI, another mas­ter­class with the bat as she hit her sec­ond ODI cen­tury (117 off 106 balls).

Thanks to Lee’s ton, it meant there were three cen­tu­ri­ons in the same women’s ODI fix­ture for the first time. “It was great the way she went about her game, it was awesome to watch,” Van Niek­erk stated.

“A to­tal of 330 was a tough ask, but we still be­lieved, es­pe­cially with the way Lizelle hit the ball. Half­way through, we thought we were well in the game, but un­for­tu­nately, the mid­dle or­der didn’t come to the party, my­self in­cluded.

“We know Chloe Tryon can fin­ish it off, but ask­ing her to strike at 12 an over for the next 14 overs was prob­a­bly un­re­al­is­tic as a team to ex­pect that from her,” she added.

Look­ing ahead to the fi­nal to­mor­row, cap­tain Van Niek­erk is in no doubt about what she and the charges must do for vic­tory, as they hope to chan­nel their clin­i­cal per­for­mance from last week Satur­day’s suc­cess­ful se­ries opener.

“Box smart,” she con­tin­ued. “I think we showed that well in the first game. Our plans were on point, we summed the con­di­tions re­ally well, and our ex­e­cu­tion was near-per­fect.

“I think that’s how we are go­ing to beat Eng­land. We need to do stuff bet­ter than them on the day. This match didn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan, but there’s a lot to play for, and if cricket was an easy game, then every­one would play it.

“So it is back to the draw­ing board. I am ex­cited to go to Can­ter­bury and see the wicket first, sum it up the right way and take the match to them in the last game,” Van Niek­erk con­cluded.

The third and fi­nal ODI will be another day/night match in Can­ter­bury to­mor­row. – African News Agency (ANA)

DANE VAN NIEK­ERK

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