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SA women must build on win over English

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There can be no room for complacency.

Marizanne Kapp celebrates the wicket of Bezuidenhout. New Zealand White Ferns v South Africa. Twenty20 international cricket. Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday 27 January 2020. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

The Proteas departed Perth earlier this week aiming to build on their opening triumph in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup when they tackle Thailand in Canberra tomorrow.

The 3 700km journey across Australia would have given the players the opportunity to leave behind that stunning start to the tournament against England as they must look to fulfil their initial goal of a spot in the semi-finals.

There can be no room for complacency.

Thailand have been charming additions to the competition, embracing their underdog status while seeking to learn as much as possible from opponents with more resources and experience. South Africa cannot take them lightly.

The Thais put a scare into the West Indies in their opening game when they knocked over the top order for just 27 runs, and the South Africans would have been poring over videos of that game and yesterday’s match against England, which the Thais lost by 98 runs, as they try to isolate strengths and weaknesses.

“They look good in the field and they have a lot of spinners,” said Proteas all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (pictured).

“We can’t take anything lightly, we have to start all over again.”

For Kapp and SA captain Dané van Niekerk, the few days in Canberra are a home-coming of sorts. The dynamic all-rounder duo had a short stint playing for the Australian Capital Territories Meteors in Australia’s Women’s National League 50-over competition in 2017/18. Kapp played four matches and Van Niekerk two, achieving success with bat and ball. Van Niekerk made two half-centuries, one of them at Manuka Oval, while Kapp picked up seven wickets in her four matches, with her economy rate below four an over during her time there.

Despite that, she’s not particularly enamoured with the ground.

“I’m not the biggest fan of the wicket, it’s a bit flat, (so) hopefully the batters will enjoy it,” Kapp smiled this week.

South Africa need to show the same kind of ruthlessness tomorrow that England showed against the Thais yesterday.

“Hopefully in every game we can keep on improving,” said Kapp.

She’s right, for as good as last Sunday’s win was, there were areas that could be improved.

Certainly, Kapp and Van Niekerk left Mignon du Preez more to do than she should have had to at the death and being more aggressive with the bat through the middle overs will have been discussed.

The team have also set the standard for themselves in the field with how they performed in Perth and any dropping off their standard will be disappointing.

The match starts at 6am SA time.

SA squad

Dané van Niekerk (capt), Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Suné Luus, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Trisha Chetty, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Nadine de Klerk, Nondumiso Shangase