South Africa Team recently whitewashed Bangladesh. ©ICC

It was heartbreak for the Proteas the last time they met England in an ODI.  It was in the 2017 world cup semifinals where The Proteas took the fight against England all the way to the bitter end but England narrowly beat them by two wickets.

The Proteas arrived in England a couple of days ago for their three-match One-Day series that starts in Worcester on Saturday, then a triangular T20 series that includes New Zealand as part of the team’s preparations for the T20 World Cup that takes place later in the year.

The Proteas are confident, up for the challenge, mentally and physically ready to go. They are currently occupying the seventh position after the first round of the ICC women’s cricket championship matches, following a 1-2 series loss to India.

This promises to be the most competitive and exciting series between the two sides. Proteas in great form after whitewashing Bangladesh in the ODI and T20 series at home.

Dane van Niekerk made it clear that her side is without a doubt in England to win, they want to beat them not just compete. A powerful statement from a strong captain.

Under the leadership of van Niekerk, the Proteas have that ‘fearless’ approach and attitude, they are playing an exciting brand of cricket. The team’s approach is to win every match weather is against a big or small team, they are always in beast mode.

 

Key players

Ayabonga Khaka. The strike bowler is currently in good form, she broke into the top 10 of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings for Women during the Bangladesh series where she was the second highest wicket-taker with seven wickets in 4 matches behind Raisibe Ntozakhe, who topped the wicket-takers’ chart with eight wickets. She also enjoys bowling in English conditions as they are similar to those of South Africa.

Van Niekerk played a vital role with both bat and ball the last time her side played against England. Her leadership qualities off and on the field will also be a key factor even though her record against England is not an impressive one (9 matches, 152 runs at an average of 25.33 taking on 3 wickets averaging 91.66)

Lizelle Lee was the leading run scorer against Bangladesh recently scoring 244 runs at an average of 61.00 in five matches at a good strike rate. Lee and Laura Wolvaardt have batted well together and will have to give the Proteas good starts so the middle and lower order can bat with freedom and post a good score. Lee has a high score of 74 versus the world champions and averages a good 46.80 with three half-centuries in five matches.

Mignon du Preez hit 76 not out the last time she played against England, her experience in the middle order will be vital, her ability to score runs at a good rate in the middle overs and rotate strike is invaluable.

Chloe Tyron, power hitting at the back of the innings is of paramount to help the team post a good total or chase down a big score. Tryon, Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp will have to turn up and play the all-rounders position well.

 

Proteas recent ODI form

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Whitewashed Bangladesh in the five-match ODI series last month in South Africa

 

Quotes

Dane van Niekerk, “First of all we owe them (England) a big one after the World Cup,” said van Niekerk. “We want to go at them with a bit of a revenge. We can’t go there thinking, ‘ah maybe we get one or two’, you go there to beat them.”

“We have played more ODI cricket than any other country in the last year,” said van Niekerk. “We are going there to compete and to win a series.”

Proteas coach said, “For us, it is important that we play the key moments better than our opponents. It is a competitive squad that has assembled for this tour and we believe we can come back with a positive result.”

“We have to improve our rankings and the only way to do that is to take on teams such as England, Australia and New Zealand which have been the leading teams in world cricket.”

 

Last five meetings:

ENG  won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining) 1st Semi-Final, ICC Women’s World Cup at Bristol, Jul 18, 2017

ENG won by 68 runs ICC Women’s World Cup at Bristol, Jul 5, 2017

ENG  won by 5 wickets (with 37 balls remaining) 3rd ODI, ICC Women’s Championship at Johannesburg, Feb 14, 2016

SA won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining) 2nd ODI, ICC Women’s Championship at Centurion, Feb 12, 2016

ENG  won by 7 wickets (with 39 balls remaining) (D/L method) 1st ODI, ICC Women’s Championship at Benoni, Feb 7, 2016

 

Team

South Africa (probable):

Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Mignon du Preez, Dane van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Raisibe Ntozakhe

The only noticeable omission is that of experienced wicketkeeper batswoman Trisha Chetty.

Proteas Squad:

Dane van Niekerk (c), Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Stacey Lackay, Tazmin Brits, Masabata Klaas, Zintle Mali

 

 

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