Marizanne Kapp, the South Africa all-rounder, isn't reading too much into their loss to Pakistan in the warm-up match ahead of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2018, saying they have what it takes to win the tournament.
South Africa will face Australia on Tuesday, 6 November in their second and final practice game before opening their campaign against Sri Lanka on 12 November.
Kapp isn't worried about the team's form in the warm-ups, though, and stressed the importance of peaking at the right time. "I’m happy with the preparation," she said. "Yes the games have not gone our way, we haven’t played the best cricket, but I think we’ve learned a lot. There are a lot of positives to take out of it.
"We would have liked to win every single game but I’m a believer in peaking at the right time. I’ve seen in the sides I’ve played for – the (Sydney) Sixers (Women’s Big Bash League) and the Surrey Stars (Super League).
"The years we won was actually the years we started off so badly, and people said we should come back and try again next year. We ended up winning both of those tournaments after starting that way. It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you end."
South Africa were restricted to 72/9 chasing Pakistan's 162/5, and Kapp put the defeat down to small lapses in the field.
"I think it’s just wrong choices sometimes and wrong execution rather than anything else," she said. "I still think we’ve played good cricket in patches but now it’s just about everything coming together on the same day and everyone performing on the same day.
"We need to make sure that all three departments fire on any given day. That is how we are going to be successful in this tournament."
South Africa suffered a setback before the tournament when ace fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka was ruled out due to a shoulder injury. In her absence, Kapp and Shabnim Ismail have had to depend on the rest of the group, including a lot of youngsters, but Kapp said she was happy with how they have responded.
KEY PLAYERS: SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 4, 2018
The Proteas will look to the all-round talents of their talismanic captain Dane van Niekerk and their precocious opener Laura Wolvaardt to see them good at the ICC Women's #WT20
"We’ve got some brilliant youngsters coming up and other bowlers like Klaasie (Masabata Klaas), she’s been bowling brilliantly. So I’m pretty excited to see what she’s gonna do at this World Cup," Kapp said.
"It’s always good to have that backup, I know that if I struggle, we have quite a few bowlers who can put up their hands and I back the girls completely."
South Africa will have one more chance to gear up for the main tournament when they take on the three-time champions Australia. Kapp wants to finish the practice games on a high.
The #WT20 warm-ups are now underway, and Pakistan have claimed a comprehensive victory in the first match! 🇵🇰— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 4, 2018
South Africa were beaten by 90 runs at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.#SAvPAK SCORECARD ➡️ https://t.co/l60DychoH9 pic.twitter.com/C9srKBZCGh
"We would like to end off well," she said. "We would like to win the game, but even if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. We had the best chance of preparing for this World T20 so we have absolutely no excuses to not be used to the conditions by now.
"I’m excited to see what we do tomorrow and how we respond to Australia and the lessons we’ve learned in the other games. We’ve done all the hard work, it’s just about putting the pieces together.
"As long as we keep improving game by game, we should be fine by the time our first game starts."
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