The South African women’s squad played their first T20I against the West Indies on 31st August 2021 at Sir Vivian Richards Ground. Though the first match had to be abandoned, the Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk was happy to have returned to the field.
Niekerk had to miss South Africa’s series against Pakistan and India due to a back injury but recently made her comeback at the Hundred’s inaugural edition as the captain of the winning Oval Invincibles team.
On her return to the home team, she expressed, “I loved it and felt blessed to put [on] my greens. I laughed because the last time I wore it was when I was crying in my bedroom when the team was away and I put it on to see how it felt. It’s great to be back with the team, they’ve grown so much as players and hopefully, it can be a successful tour.”
In the first T20I against West Indies, Niekerk couldn’t stay long on the field and was caught out at a score of 15 runs. Marizanne Kapp was the top scorer with a score of 36 runs. In the second inning, Kapp dismissed Hayley who had earlier dismissed Captain Niekerk. Unfortunately, the match had to be abandoned due to a sudden downpour that lasted more than an hour.
About the match Niekerk commented, “It didn’t come off the bat like we wanted to. It was a bit slow as expected, but it was a good wicket. It’s the first game and we tried to see how the conditions played and we now can plan ahead. A good hit-out for the batters, a lot of positives even if it wasn’t a full game, I enjoyed it, but now we can make plans that we know what to expect.”
After assessing Tuesday’s game, Niekerk shared the team’s strategy and plans to be followed for the series. “We just need to attack, T20 is all about aggressive mindset and we can make plans over what we saw today, and hopefully we can execute that. We want to win 2-0 from here, that’s the goal. We’ll regroup and focus on the next one.”
The second T20I is scheduled for today, Thursday 2nd September at the same venue.
Dane van Niekerk (captain), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondu Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune and Masabata Klaas.
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