Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Lots to feel good about, says De Klerk before World Cup opener against Sri Lanka | Sport

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South African all-rounder Nadine de Klerk

South African all-rounder Nadine de Klerk

Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

  • Proteas all-rounder Nadine de Klerk backs her side to get over the first hurdle against Sri Lanka in the T20 Women’s World Cup.
  • The hosts open their campaign on Friday at Newlands against Sri Lanka.
  • De Klerk says they will take confidence from their Tri-Series title win last week and promising performances in their warm-up loss against England.

Proteas all-rounder Nadine de Klerk says they are taking a lot of confidence heading into their T20 Women’s World Cup Group A opener against Sri Lanka at Newlands on Friday.

The South Africas are hosting the first women’s World Cup on African soil from 10-26 February in Cape Town, Paarl and Gqeberha.

On Monday, De Klerk impressed in the Proteas women’s first warm-up game against England at Coetzenburg Oval in Stellenbosch.

De Klerk starred with both bat and ball as she took three for 45 and scored an unbeaten 50 off 27 balls, although the Proteas fell 17 runs short in chasing down a hefty total set by England.

READ | Proteas women look for home comfort after troubled World Cup build-up

South Africa have one more warm-up against Pakistan at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday before opening the T20 World Cup.

Last week, the Proteas women defeated India by five wickets to win the Tri-Series final.

De Klerk was delighted with the performances shown by the team and hopes they carry that momentum into the World Cup.

The Proteas are in a tough Group A alongside defending champions Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“To beat India in those type of conditions in the final, I think it just shows the depth of the team and what we’re capable of doing,” said De Klerk.

“Even today [Monday’s warm-up against England], almost chasing 250. It’s really special, so I do think it’s going to give us a lot of confidence going into that first game and whenever we do face Australia and New Zealand as well.”

De Klerk insists South Africa knows how to combat the Sri Lankan attack.

“I think it’s going to be very similar to India and what we’ve been facing in East London, they’re going to throw a lot of spinners at us,” said De Klerk.

“We have to take confidence from this game as well. I know it was a bit different, but we need to be confident out there.

“We need to back ourselves. There are a few players that have been in really good touch, so we have to take that confidence into the game and just really back ourselves regardless of the opponents that we’re getting.”

Play on Friday starts at 19:00.

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