The Proteas women believe they are well prepared for their opening Twenty20 (T20) match against the West Indies at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday. The national women’s team will once again play a double-header T20 series alongside their male counterparts, who take on Australia from 4-9 March. The team are in high spirits moving into the T20 series after beating the Windies by 35 runs in the last of their three-match, One-Day International (ODI) series where they finished 2-1 down.
They believe they can turn their luck around with the change in format. All-rounder, Marizanne Kapp is looking forward to getting the series off to a winning start. She believes the team have learned their lessons from the England tour and the ODIs against the West Indies and is the first to admit that the they did not play their best cricket in the first two ODIs against the Windies.
She says: ‘To be honest, we played two terrible matches. It’s not the type of cricket we want to play, but luckily in the last match we got things back on track and we can take that momentum forward into the T20s.’ She believes that the conditions in Durban have given the team a taste of what to expect in India where they will compete in the ICC Women’s World T20 later this month. Kapp says: ‘I think these are perfect conditions ahead of World Cup in India. It is similar weather conditions and also, surprisingly a similar wicket was given to us at nets, I was surprised by the slowness of the wicket but I know that a few girls will be eager for the match tomorrow after seeing this.’
Kapp is hungry for a series win and believes that the T20 series is their best bet. She enjoys the intensity and the excitement of the format and hopes that a win can give the side some confidence going into the World T20. She says: ‘It’s an exciting format, you have to execute your skills well if you want to win. As a bowler, if you don’t do that, you’ll play “fetch” the entire match, but yes, we love T20s and we can’t wait for the match tomorrow.’ All three of the women’s T20s will be broadcast live on SuperSport 2 and Kapp believes that this will take the women’s game even further in South Africa, but believes it is important for them to win games and not pay attention to the cameras: ‘It’s definitely exciting times for us and women’s cricket in this country. I hope we can put on a good show and have people see the kind of skills that the girls have and take our game seriously. Most people don’t know that there’s even a national women’s team and I hope that when they see us, they immediately take it seriously and want to know how to get their kids involved.’