Having swept the one-day international series 5-0, South Africa Women are hoping to repeat the feat when the Twenty20 International leg of Bangladesh’s tour gets underway in Kimberley on Thursday 17 May.
Boosting the home side is the return of Hilton Moreeng, the head coach, for the three-match series. Moreeng had left the squad ahead of the first ODI after his father's death, and Salieg Nackerdien had stood in for the five-match ODI series.
The @Momentum_za Proteas fast bowler, Ayabonga Khaka has moved up into the top 10 of the @ICC ODI Player Rankings - joining three other #ProteasWomen in the top 10 after the recent 5-0 white-wash over Bangladesh. #AlwaysRising— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 16, 2018
Moreeng watched them from the stands, though, and said he was impressed with South Africa’s clinical approach throughout the series. “I’ve been easing myself back in, it was really good to watch the last ODI from the stands and see how the team clinched the whitewash,” he said. “I was proud of how they carried themselves and went about their business.
“I saw a lot of growth and improvement (from the last series against India). Now we have our sights on the T20 series and the preparation for that has gone really well.”
Despite the dominant nature of the win, Moreeng spotted areas the team could still improve in, especially in the batting department. “Having looked at the growing trend in the way that T20 cricket around the world is being played, we know that consistency with the bat is going to be very important,” he said. “We have to look at getting scores that are above 120 in order to be competitive.
“It’s also important that we also find ways of capitalising on every little opportunity to score runs during the middle periods of the game, which is around where we tend to stagnate. We need to find ways of gaining momentum. That being said, I’m quite happy with how we approach the Powerplay.”
He expects Bangladesh to put up a bigger fight in the T20Is. “The T20 format is a is a strength-levelling format,” he said. “I’m sure that Bangladesh is going to compete in this format, so fielding is going to be key for us to make sure that we prevent them from taking easy runs and minimise those ones and twos.”
The T20Is also give a chance for both the sides to tune-up ahead of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the Caribbean in November. “This is our home ground, so the advantage is ours,” said Moreeng. “We’re really just concentrating on ourselves and focussing on what we need to do as a team. At the end of the day, each and every T20 game we play from now is to build towards the World Cup.”
After the Kimberley clash, the teams will travel to Bloemfontein for the second and third T20Is on 19 and 20 May.