Home Sport Cricket Proteas Women out to bury 2017 semis heartache

Proteas Women out to bury 2017 semis heartache

66
South Africa’s Mignon Du Preez takes a catch to dismiss Australia’s Rachael Haynes during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 cricket match at the Basin Reserve, Wellington New Zealand, 22 March 2022. Picture: John Cowpland,/ www.photosport.nz via BackpagePix

Thursday’s game is a rematch of the 2017 semi-final which left the Proteas heartbroken and splattered in tears all around the Bristol outfield when last-batter Anja Shrubsole edged England over the line with just two balls remaining of the epic contest.

Cape Town – The Proteas are looking to create fresh memories in their titanic Women’s World Cup semi-final against defending champions England on Thursday.

It is, of course, a rematch of the 2017 semi-final which left the Proteas heartbroken and splattered in tears all around the Bristol outfield when last-batter Anja Shrubsole edged England over the line with just two balls remaining of the epic contest.

That defeat still sits uncomfortably with the Proteas due to many players often referencing the pain they felt at “the lowest moment of their international careers”.

There has been some consolation since with the Proteas defeating England in an equally thrilling match in the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020 and now again at this very World Cup a fortnight ago.

ALSO READ: Mignon magic helps SA dump India out of Women’s World Cup

However, the pain of Bristol will only truly be erased for this group of Proteas if they are able to advance to their first-ever World Cup final courtesy of a victory over their arch-rivals in the knockout stages on Thursday.

“We’ve met them (England) in a World Cup semi-final (before) and we don’t have the best memories of that,” said Proteas batter Mignon du Preez.

“So we’re very keen to change it this time around and try and be the ones that comes out on top.”

Although the Proteas will have a notable absentee from the 2017 encounter with captain Dane van Niekerk ruled out of this tournament through injury, the South Africans are arguably a stronger unit five years later.

ALSO READ: Proteas won’t get ahead of themselves

There are likely to be nine Bristol survivors that are set to take the field at the Hagley Oval on Thursday, and they will have benefitted from the experience gained over the intervening period.

Equally, their skill sets have improved tremendously with Laura Wolvaardt, in particular, no longer a teenage prodigy but now a seasoned world-class batter that sits atop of the tournament’s run-scoring charts.

Furthermore, the Proteas are getting closer to their “perfect game” after a couple of indifferent performances with the bat as they have now posted in excess of 270 in consecutive matches bar the rained-out encounter against the fellow semi-finalist West Indies.

“Runs is always good and cricket is such a confidence game,” Du Preez said.

“I think at the moment now all the batters are starting to fire just at the right time. Yeah, so hopefully, we can take it one step further this year win that semi-final and make it to the final.

“I think it’s not how you start tournaments, but how you finish it.”

@ZaahierAdams

Previous articleTaliban ’bans’ Afghan women from flying without male chaperone
Next article‘Development war’ brews between Red Bull, and Ferrari