The Proteas will focus on the positives of a difficult tour to England when they face the host nation in a Commonwealth Games clash at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
MIGNON du Preez hopes that some of the gold medal magic South Africa had at the weekend can rub off on the Proteas for their must-win Commonwealth Games clash with England at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
The Proteas had some time off after their defeat to New Zealand in the Group A opener on Saturday and the players were able to watch their compatriots achieve success in the pool and on the rugby field.
“It was good to spend some time away from cricket and watch some other sports; the swimmers, the rugby and the Euro final,” Du Preez said, the latter event being the women’s Euro football final between England and Germany that took place at Wembley on Sunday. The host nation won that title, in front of a record crowd at the stadium and massive TV audience.
It was probably a reminder to the Proteas players how they have inspired many young cricketers in SA with their exploits in the last few years. Sadly in the last month much of that seems to have been forgotten as defeat has followed defeat, and performances on the field have only fleetingly offered hope of a turnaround.
Heading into Tuesday’s encounter with England, who will undoubtedly be buoyed by the achievements of their football counterparts, the Proteas are aware that only a mistake-free performance will help to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals. Sadly, it’s been an error-laden tour for the South Africans, who have lost their last six limited-overs matches against England.
“We have the plans in place, but our execution has not been on point,” said Du Preez.
“Nobody makes mistakes on purpose, it’s still important to back each other and have fun when we play.
“We need to be there for each other. We can’t focus too much on the negatives and the past month that hasn’t gone our way. (Tuesday) is the game that matters.”
England won easily enough against Sri Lanka in their opener, and will draw plenty of confidence from how they have dominated SA in the last few weeks.
“It doesn’t matter that they’ve beaten us in the last six games, (Tuesday’s) the one that counts, we are two wins away and we can actually make it to the semi-finals,” said the ever optimistic Du Preez.
“Anything can happen in T20s, we need to keep on believing. We’ve played really well in the last 18 months and we can’t let one month of bad performances take all of that good work away.”
Tuesday’s match starts at 12pm.
South Africa: Sune Luus (capt), Chloé Tryon, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits , Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Delmi Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt.
England: Heather Knight, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Alice Capsey, Frey Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Nat Sciver, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt, Bryony Smith.