Stalwart Mignon du Preez believes Team South Africa is raring to go and has the ability to get a result if they implement their plans against England in their second Group B encounter in the 2022 Commonwealth Games T20 Cricket event in Birmingham on Tuesday.
The action will be broadcast live on SuperSport Cricket, Channel 212, with the game at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground getting underway from 11h00 local time (12h00 SAST).
South Africa head into their second clash at the Games on the back of succumbing to a 13-run defeat to Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine-inspired New Zealand side. Bates scored an unbeaten 91 off 64 balls (8 fours, 3 sixes) while Devine smashed 48 to help take the White Ferns to 167 / 2 before the latter also took figures of three for 37 to restrict Team SA to 154 / 7 in their 20 overs despite rearguard knocks from Chloé Tryon (39) and Suné Luus (32).
“I definitely think the mood in the camp is good and healthy,” du Preez noted on the spirit within the squad following the opening loss. “We have a training session (later) and I saw some of the girls this morning, and everybody looks ready to go.
“We had a good off day yesterday and the girls spent some time away from cricket. A day away from the game, and just watching some other sports; the Euros Finals, our swimming athletes, and the Sevens, there was a lot happening yesterday and it is sometimes good to just get your mind off things a little bit,” she said.
“It is obviously not the start we would have wanted against New Zealand. It is tournament cricket, the games come around thick and fast, so it Is just one of those things you have to park and move on to the next one,” the former national captain added.
Their next opponents, England, are very familiar to the South Africans, with both sides coming off a multi-format tour last month that included a once-off Test match with three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 Internationals (T20). Having emerged victorious in both limited-overs series, including a 3-0 series win in the shortest format, England enters the contest as the in-form outfit.
On getting ready to take on England once again, du Preez commented:
“We’ve got the plans in place, our execution hasn’t been on point just yet so if we actually just execute our plans, we would definitely set ourselves up for a good win,” she said.
“It is small margins in T20 cricket; it is one or two overs or one partnership that really takes the game away. I don’t think we were that far off (in the past against England), we played good cricket for the most part of the game but then one or two overs let us down.
“For us, the biggest thing would be to keep on focusing on what we can do and not spend too much energy on the opposition, and if we execute our plans, we would put ourselves in a position to win some games,” the 33-year old continued.
The last time the two sides faced off in T20 tournament cricket, South Africa stormed to victory by six wickets in Perth, Australia during the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup, a game in which du Preez also received her 100th T20I cap.
While the focus has mainly been on the task at hand in the T20 event, Team SA’s cricketers had the opportunity to soak in the positive energies and experience the excellence on the display in an environment of world-class athletes taking part in a truly global and multi-code sporting event.
As Team SA debutants, Hilton Moreeng’s charges also got to be a part of the supporting cast as South Africa picked up gold, silver, and bronze medals during the weekend, with the Blitzboks, Tatjana Schoenmaker, and Chad le Clos amongst South Africa’s medallists in Birmingham.
“This has been really special. We have never been part of Team South Africa, so it has been quite special to be welcomed by the team and actually have gone to an opening ceremony and got to spend some time with all the other athletes.
“The atmosphere at these Games has just been electrifying. We have been to the village where we get to see athletes from different countries that you always just see on TV, so it has been really special. I am glad that I got this opportunity to be part of Team South Africa,” du Preez added.
South Africa will wrap up their Group B Commonwealth Games action on Thursday, 04 August against Sri Lanka.
Team South Africa – Women’s T20 Competition at 2022 Commonwealth Games:
Suné Luus (Captain) (Titans Ladies), Chloé Tryon (Vice-Captain) (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Mignon du Preez (Titans Ladies), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Sinalo Jafta (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Imperial Lions), Masabata Klaas (Senwes Dragons), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Six Gun Grill Western Province)
Team South Africa’s 2022 Commonwealth Games T20 Cricket Fixtures –
Tuesday, 02 August @ 11h00 local time – England vs South Africa
Thursday, 04 August @ 11h00 local time – South Africa vs Ireland
Saturday, 06 August @ 11h00 local time – Semi-final 1
Saturday, 06 August @ 18h00 local time – Semi-final 2
Sunday, 07 August @ 10h00 local time –Bronze Medal
Sunday, 07 August @ 17h00 local time – Gold Medal