Christchurch, March 31 (IANS) South Africa captain Sune Luus accepted that the 137-run loss in the semi-final of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to England will be a hard pill to swallow.
She added that thoughts in her mind about the veteran players in the team potentially missed out on their last chance at featuring in a World Cup final had left her saddened.
It was the second straight time that South Africa missed the finals of the Women’s Cricket World Cup, knocked out by the very same side who had defeated them in the semi-finals of the 2017 edition. The Proteas, who missed regular captain Dane van Niekerk due to ankle fracture, were the second-best team in the league stage, losing just one match to finalists Australia.
“Obviously it’s a very sad changing room tonight, different to all of our games that we’ve been playing. There’s a couple of players who it might be their last World Cup and I think for us as younger players it breaks our hearts that we couldn’t give the final to them and help them get that trophy that they’ve been working towards for 15 years,” said Luus in the post-match virtual press conference.
“I think that breaks our hearts more that we couldn’t support them if it’s their last World Cup. It’s going to be a hard pill to swallow this one especially just in the way we lost. I felt like that was a bit disappointing. It still doesn’t take away from how we’ve been playing so I think we just need to look back at that and reflect on that and enjoy the fact that we are in the semi-final and although it didn’t go our way, I think we can still be very proud of ourselves,” added Luus, who marked her 100th ODI appearance during the semi-final.
Luus admitted that South Africa’s sloppy show with the field, especially giving England opener Danni Wyatt five reprieves, cost them a place in the final. “We didn’t really take our chances. I think we were given a couple and I don’t think it was our best fielding performance. “We always pride ourselves on our fielding and to not take those chances tonight, as a fielding unit we are very disappointed in that.”
In chasing 294, South Africa were never in the chase and folded for 156 all out in 38 overs. “If we took our chances (in the field), it might have been a different score. But at the end of the day, I still think 290 was a good score to chase, we just didn’t apply ourselves with the bat tonight,” stated Luus.
Reflecting on South Africa’s run in the World Cup, Luus remarked, “Overall, it’s been a good campaign for us, so we are not going to define ourselves by the game we played tonight. We’ve had a brilliant campaign to get ourselves into the semifinal was obviously one of our goals and we did that.”
“We’re extremely proud as a team, still very disappointing to not be in that final. But we’ve played good cricket – today we just didn’t bring our best game when it was needed.”