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Chloe Tryon
Women's T20 World Cup

Chloe Tryon wants middle-order batters to step up

South Africa Women news

South Africa lost a practice game against England by 17 runs earlier this week, and go up against India next in the run up to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.

South Africa have a lot of big-ticket players scattered around their line-up, but much of their success – or lack thereof – will depend on how their star openers, Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt, play.

In the game against England, Lee top-scored for South Africa with a 28-ball 33 as they chased 140 for a win, but none of the other batters bar Tryon – 32 from 25 balls – got into double digits.

Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee are South Africa's star opening batters
Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee are South Africa's star opening batters

“The first warm-up game we struggled a bit, especially the middle order with the bat, and it’s something that we’re addressing,” Tryon said ahead of the game against India. “We started really well up front with Lizelle, but we just couldn’t carry on that momentum.

“That middle period of the seventh to the 15th over, we need to capitalise on. The girls have taken a lot in and have been working on a lot of specifics today and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. We know that India is going to be bowling a lot of their spinners, so we’ve been working on a lot of different options and running between the wickets is going to be really key for us.”

South Africa have often struggled because of the frailties in the middle order, but Tryon, the vice-captain of the team, expects things to get better.

“Obviously it’s an area of concern but I feel that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and then we end up not playing our own game. It’s just about going out there and executing our plans and playing our brand of cricket that we always say we want to play,” she said.

“We need to go out there and express ourselves and give ourselves a really good start up front and really look after that middle period and then finish well.”

Fortunately for the South Africans, the bowling attack is well stocked, especially after the return of the experienced Shabnim Ismail.

“We’ve always had a big and fiery bowling unit and it’s so nice to have Shabnim back. She’s a senior player and the girls like to listen to her a lot and she gives a lot of input and gives great insights as well. It’s nice to have another senior player up front with Marizanne (Kapp) who’s been really good,” pointed out Tryon.

“All that together just gives the youngsters more people to feed off from. It’s been good to see them working on different things for themselves like variations. We are in the West Indies so the wickets are a bit slow so they know they will need to have different options to work on and they implemented those really well in the first warm-up match.

"It’s really good to see that we’ve got one department that’s really firing at the moment and hopefully the others (batting and fielding) can join in as well.”

At the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, though, the batters might have to do much more, with the game becoming a big-scoring one very, very quickly.

“I feel like it’s more of a batters’ game at the moment, but obviously the bowlers are working very hard. All around the world, the batters have been on top form and it’s become a 360-degree game where they hit the ball everywhere. You can see girls playing incredible shots and I feel like there’ll be a lot of sixes but also a lot of running between the wickets and a lot of fancy shots,” said the 24-year-old all-rounder.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be an exciting one, everyone’s ready for it and you can’t take any team for granted. Take a team like Bangladesh, who toured against us (in South Africa) and we whitewashed them, but they went on to win the Asia Cup, so it’s nice to see that character from them. I think it’s going to be a really good T20 World Cup."

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