While the Proteas wrapped up an ODI series victory against Pakistan with a match to spare, their performances were not up to the standards they demand of themselves.
DURBAN – South Africa wrapped up a series victory against Pakistan with one match to spare, but their performances in both One-Day Internationals were not up to the standards they demand of themselves.
Stand-in skipper Sune Luus admitted as much after the 13-run victory at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Marizanne Kapp, who produced one of the finest all-round performances of her career, said it was important to acknowledge the team’s lack of match play. “’ll take the win,” said Kapp who scored 68 not out and picked up three wickets, “but we have to be honest, we’ve not played much cricket in a while, and it will take some time to get into rhythm.”
The South Africans hadn’t played as a unit since the T20 semi-final against Australia in Sydney in March last year. Most of the players were in Australia for the Big Bash that finished in November, while there was also a domestic T20 tournament in December at Newlands.
But while those matches were good in terms of getting the competitive juices flowing, the number of basic errors made – in all three departments against Pakistan – suggest there was a lot of rustiness.
The fielding has been a major concern; Shabnim Ismail described it as looking like “amateur cricket”, in the first match, while Kapp said the display in the field in the second ODI was “shocking”.
A lot of technical work needs to be done – some of the dropped catches involved bad positioning of the hands in particular – while the attitude in the field drastically needs to improve too. “It felt like we were asleep out there in the second half of their innings,” said Kapp.
She had to bail her teammates out with the bat on Saturday, with an aggressive 68 not out that included 10 fours and a six, ultimately the difference between the two teams. South Africa’s top four batters all got into double figures on Saturday with none turning those starts into anything of substance. “If we’re going to make totals of 300 then someone in the top four has to get a big score, like a hundred,” said Kapp.
The Proteas have been alright with the ball, but 21 wides across the two ODIs also indicates poor execution.
The third ODI takes place in Durban tomorrow. The two teams will also play in three T20 Internationals.