The Momentum Proteas have their eyes set on making history by winning a bilateral One-Day International (ODI) series against England for the first time when the teams meet in the third and final ICC Women’s Challenge (IWC) match in Canterbury on Friday. The series stands at 1-1 after the hosts levelled the their chances with a 69-run victory in Hove on Tuesday.
All-rounder Marizanne Kapp, while disappointed with her side’s previous performance still strongly believes that they are capable of winning the final and clinching the series. She wants to see the team show more confidence in its abilities and for players to back themselves and their skills in much the same way as big teams all around the world do.
“We’re excited (for the final),” she claimed. “A bit disappointed with our previous performance though. I don’t think we rocked up, but still there are a lot of positives to take out of that game and then obviously our first game. We just have to back ourselves. I mean, we’ve got nothing to lose, England is actually the team that everyone expects to win, so hopefully we can rock up tomorrow and just play our natural game.”
When asked to narrow down what she thinks caused South Africa’s about turn in the second ODI, Kapp admitted that the team seemed to lack the confidence they had started the series with.
“I think it’s definitely a confidence issue,” she explained. “We know we’ve got really skilful players and that we’re a really good side, but I think it’s just up in the head. We don’t always believe that we are really good, but if we come out with a clear mindset and with the same belief that we had in the first game then we’ll come out on top tomorrow.”
The Port Elizabeth native reckons that winning the series will mean a lot for South Africa as a team and the players individually. It will go a long way in building the team’s confidence, especially when they play against top countries like England and Australia.
“I think it will be a big thing for us,” she continued. “It will be yet another move in the right direction. Something like this will just help us get better and better and become more consistent.
“Skill-wise we’re up there with anyone in the world, I think sometimes teams like England and Australia just have greater belief, almost like an arrogance that they know they are gonna beat you so if we can start having that same confidence in our own skills and talents and going out and playing with that kind of mindset, I don’t think anyone is going to be able to stop us.”
The series, which falls under the IWC forms part of another objective for the visitors, which is a direct qualification for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, for which England are defending champions.
“Those points are really important for us, especially because we want qualify directly for the next World Cup and not have to go through the World Cup Qualifiers like we had to do previously so yes, every single game is important for us, not just points-wise but for this team’s belief,” Kapp admitted.
When asked if she believes South Africa can pull off another performance like their series opener where they beat the hosts by seven wickets, she said;
“Look, I’m always sceptical about games like the first game we had where everything just goes your way. You always have to be careful not to be over confident and I think that might have played a small part in our previous game. We just have to be a lot smarter when we go out there, especially when we play on wickets like that where we’re not used to having our bowlers getting hit like that. But I mean, it’s not the end of the world. With these conditions and batting wickets that we get these days, you can’t back down when there’s a big score on the board, especially with our batting line-up and with the big hitters that we have, we should actually be making 300 plus scores on a consistent basis.
“I just think we lack that fight that we had in the (2017) World Cup, we need to get that back. It’s not always gonna go your way, but it’s how you come back after losing like we did in the previous game that will count. It’s about rocking up, playing as if we’ve got nothing to lose and just fighting to the end.”
The third and final ODI will be broadcast live on SuperSport 6 from 14:45.