SA Women not getting carried away despite blistering start to World Cup, says captain Luus
As the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup moves past the halfway mark, Momentum Proteas captain Sune Luus says the team will not put undue pressure on themselves with a big tests on the horizon.
Luus was speaking after her side claimed another important but narrow victory, this time by two wickets over tournament hosts New Zealand on Thursday at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
This was their fourth win from as many matches while also setting up a tantalising clash against table-topping Australia in their next match on Tuesday at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Shabnim Ismail (3/27) and Ayabonga Khaka (3/31) alongside two wickets from Marizanne Kapp saw them restrict the White Ferns to 228.
Half-centuries from Laura Wolvaardt (67 off 94) and Luus (51 off 73) laid the platform for Kapp (34* off 35) to carry the side over the line in another player-of-the-match performance with just three balls remaining.
The 26-year-old Luus said SA would not rest on their laurels with tough games against the Aussies, West Indies and India in the coming days when they will be looking to cement a place in the top four.
“They (Australia) are a very good team who have been on top of their game recently,” said Luus.
“We are not putting pressure on ourselves ahead of that game. It is a game where we can improve on the things we want to and start playing better cricket.
“It is a game where we will focus on ourselves but it is still going to be a tough, competitive game .”
Luus said Eastern Province’s Kapp was an important part of the side due to her vast experience which has been evident in how she has been able to handle pressure situations.
“Marizanne has nerves of steel and handles those (pressure) situations much better than all of us could, so I think she is the right person for that part of the game.
“She also has the experience of playing around the world in different situations, so I think she is a very calm head. She is showing all of us how to stay calm, back your own skill and finish the game off,” she said.
With all their games going down to the wire so far, Luus said it was an opportunity to learn more about themselves.
“Every game sets us up for the semifinals and for more big games to come. Every game is a learning curve for us, especially for the players making their debut at a world cup.
“Every game comes with new situations, the type of pressure they have never really had to experience before, so we take the positives from every game and look forward to seeing how we can improve, talk about the pressures of each game and how we can handle that better,” Luus said.
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