The Proteas will resume their build-up toward the T20 Cricket World Cup in October, with a three-match series against England. The South African Men’s outfit will try to avenge the efforts of the South African Women’s team in England, and walk away with a result.

The One-Day International (ODI) series between the two nations ended in a one-all draw. That will see both sides go-all out tonight to take an important advantage into the second meeting later this week.

The Bigger Picture

Getting that momentum will prove important with the T20 Cricket World Cup around the corner. Both sides come off inconsistent performances in recent series against India. The Proteas spent some time in the Sub-Continent in mid-June for a five-match T20 series. A series white-wash was on the cards for the Proteas, going two-nil up, but the talented young Indian side eventually leveled the series. That set-up a potentially thrilling conclusion to the series, but rain spoilt the party.

England has only played two T20 series so far this year. The first in January, where they suffered a three-two defeat in the West Indies. Their three-match series against India meanwhile ended in a two-one defeat on home soil.

That will mean that the English will have extra motivation to earn a proper victory in front of their home crowd.

Miller undeterred

Stand-in Proteas T20 International (T20I) captain David Miller said that England will pose a massive challenge, but they won’t take it laying down.

“The England team has come a long way in the last couple of years,” said Miller.

“They are a formidable team, Jos (Buttler) has played a lot under Eoin Morgan. He’s got great experience and has travelled all around the world. He plays IPL and has done extremely well on the international circuits.”

“So I do think that they are a serious team. But to counter that, we’ve got a serious team as well. I think it’s going to be a good series.”

Rilee Rossouw returns

This series will also see a welcome return to Rilee Rossouw. Rossouw, who last featured in South African colours in October 2018, will add a healthy amount of experience to the side.

“It’s great to have Rilee back. We began our professional careers around the same time back in the day,” said Miller.

“The team is right behind him, he has immense experience from playing in leagues around the world. He’s also spent a few years in England and it’s great to have that local knowledge for this series. He has a good head on his shoulders and he’s a match winner.”

David Miller’s pre-match press conference can be watched here.

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The Momentum Proteas fell to yet another defeat in England following a 36-run loss in their third and final T20 in their series. That sees the South African Women’s cricket outfit on a run of six successive white-ball defeats.

The gap between South Africa and England couldn’t be more clear, as one was more consistent than the other. A majority of matches in the series ended in comfortable victories for the English.

While England didn’t entirely dominate during the series, the Momentum Proteas didn’t make the most of the few chances they had. Whenever England were on the back-foot, they could still show massive fight to overpower the South Africans.

There is without a doubt talent within the Momentum Protea squad and we have seen brief glimpses of what they are capable of.

Standing out from the rest

Last night Nonkululeko Mlaba recorded career best bowling figures of three for 22, while Tazmin Brits earned a patient half-century.

Mlaba got her side off to the perfect start. The 22-year-old dismissed the dangerous Sophia Dunkley for a duck with the very first ball of the match.

The English then took a liking to Masabata Klaas, the most expensive bowler on the night. The 31-year-old ending her four over spell with an economy of nearly double that of the second most expensive bolwer, Ayabonga Khaka. Khaka conceded just over eight-runs per over, while Klaas conceded nearly 16.

With bat in hand, Tazmin Brits was the only player to contribute any substantial runs. Her 59 from 57 deliveries in vain.

Opening batter, Anneke Bosch, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez and stand-in captain, Chloe Tryon all dismissed with scores in the teens.

Reflection necessary

Hilton Moreeng, coach of the Momentum Proteas, has some work ahead of him this week, ahead of their brief trip to Birmingham. Proper reflection will be required if they want to be competitive at the Commonwealth Games.

The South African women’s cricket team will start their Commonwealth Games campaign on Saturday, 30 July 2022.

They open thier account against New Zealand, before meeting England on Tuesday, 2 August 2022.

This will be the first time the beautiful game of cricket will feature since 1998, and it’s going to take a massive effort if the Momentum Proteas want to emulate the success of the South African outfit at the Games in Malasya. The side boasting legends like Johnty Rhodes, Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock earned the Gold medal.

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