Mignon du Preez believes South Africa has finally ‘shaken the monkey off their back’ after a stunning victory over England in their first match of the tournament at ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
After winning the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup match between England and South Africa at WACA on February 23, 2020, in Perth, South Africa’s Mignon Du Preez spoke at the press conference.
Du Preez celebrated her 100th T20 appearance in her own style by hitting back-to-back boundaries in the mind-blowing final over against England. She has featured in all seven editions of the tournament.
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In this match team, England set a run chase of 124 with wonderful contribution of Nat Sciver’s half-century and it seemed like they were ready for a victory at the WACA but the turning point was the impressive late entry of Chloe Tryon and two big hits from Du Preez turned the table around in the final over.
Du Preez was glad to lift South Africa over the line as she did not give up till the end and she said that her side’s ability to hold their nerve will hold them in good stead for the rest of the tournament.
“It’s nice to finally beat them in an ICC tournament,” said the girl who stole the show. “This is the seventh one I’ve played in and we’ve never got close before.
“To put that behind us and move forward is really exciting. We’ve always known how strong we are and that within the team we have matchwinners but we had a monkey on our back.
“This will give us the boost we need to go one step further than the semi-finals and take a World Cup trophy home. We know we’re good enough, we just have to play well and enjoy it.
Not only did the batters of South Africa played impressively but the bowlers showed their power through three-wicket haul from Ayabonga Khaka along with Dane Van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp taking two wickets each that halted their opponent’s middle-order batters in their track.
England had Amy Jones (23) and Fran Wilson (14) who scored double figures. Apart from the only one with double-figure and innings-saver Sciver said that her side is well aware that they need to take their performance at the crease up a notch if they want to seal a spot in the knockout stages.
“I think we were a bit short with the bat,” she said. “We didn’t get quite enough runs unfortunately and we knew we had to bowl and field really well,” she added.
Further, she analyzed, “Obviously Amy Jones and Danni [Wyatt] can hopefully get us off to a good start which they did but unfortunately when we lost both of them quite quickly it was difficult to get a partnership.
“I was in most of the time and the batters coming in have a responsibility to hopefully get the partnership moving, try and get on strike and get a boundary.
“The quality of teams in this T20 World Cup has stepped up a notch. I’d love to hit a top-edge six when you need nine to win off one over like Mignon did. That would be great. Unfortunately, she got it away.
“You can see by the way they reacted that they believed that they could beat us and believed that they could be in the final. It wasn’t meant to be for us.”
This article was first published on ICC’s Media Zone