Lee lauds Caribbean tour as ideal preparation for next year's World Cup

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Lizelle Lee says the Proteas will need to put enough runs on the board if they are to win the second ODI match and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Lizelle Lee says the Proteas will need to put enough runs on the board if they are to win the second ODI match and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Momentum Proteas' hard-hitting batter Lizelle Lee expects the West Indies to bounce back from defeat in the opening game and level the five-match ODI series in the second match on Friday, but said SA will show intent as they seek a 2-0 series lead.

The Proteas stormed to a 1-0 series win in Antigua on Tuesday with a dominant display with bat and ball as five different bowlers helped themselves to wickets to dismiss their hosts for 153.

Lee led the charge with an unbeaten 91 as SA strolled to a simple chase and said the team is determined to put the squeeze on the West Indians and double their advantage in the series.

“We just have to go again,  be prepared and make sure we cover all our bases in the next training session and make sure we do what we want to do to be ready for the next game,” the Emerlo-born Lee said ahead of the second ODI at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua at 4pm SA time on Friday.

“We are going to make sure that we put enough runs on the board if we bat first or if we bat second we must make sure that we chase the score down.

“I think that is going to come down to showing intent.”

Only three batters — Kycia Knight [39 off 78 balls], Britney Cooper [25 off 56 not out] and Deandra Dottin [38 off 36]— managed double figures for the home side in the opening match with openers Hayley Matthews and Kyshona Knight restricted to just  6/0 in the first five overs.

The Proteas reduced their hosts to 12/2 in the next five overs and to 28/2 after 15 overs.

The West Indies tried to build momentum with Cooper and Dottin in particular but the Proteas were just too good as the home side collapsed from 70/2 to 153 all out in 47 overs.

The West Indies did not offer much with the bat, largely due to brilliant bowling by the visitors, and while Lee expects the home side to come back guns blazing, she said the Proteas have also identified areas to improve on.

“There is a lot to improve on. The West Indies will definitely bounce back, they are that sort of nation.”

Lee said SA will have to explore more options to score their runs with minimal risk.

“I think that is the big thing and we will need to work on that for the next game. I think sometimes you maybe have to take a low-risk option of getting the singles or boundaries or whatever.”

The two nations are using the eight-match limited-overs series as part of their preparations for next year’s ICC Women’s 50-over World Cup in New Zealand and Lee said the tour of the Caribbean will serve as ideal preparation for the mega event.

“From a team’s perspective we are just trying to get our combinations right. I think we have sort of done that already. It is just about making sure that when we get to the World Cup we don’t need to sort anything.

“From a personal perspective, I have realised over the past few years that as soon as I try to complicate things I struggle so I am just trying to keep it as simple as possible and make sure that I score runs for the team.”