The Momentum Proteas Women have one more chance to qualify for the Super Sixes stage of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 after they suffered a three-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia on Sunday. South Africa gave the Aussies a run for their money and never made life easy for them but in the end the Aussies' superior experience won out.
South Africa's captain, Mignon du Preez won the toss and batted first on a foggy morning in Cuttack, posting 188/9. They lost Yolandi Potgieter for a duck at the end of the first over and she was followed by Du Preez, also without scoring at the start of the third over. The captain was well aware that the loss of those wickets was partly to blame for the shortage of runs.
"Losing two top order wickets without scoring will always put a team on the back foot. Today it was myself and Pottie (Potgieter) who unfortunately didn't come to the party," she said.
Trisha Chetty and Marizanne Kapp took matters into their own hands, sharing a 122-run stand before the former was caught behind off Rachael Hanyes' bowling for 59 runs. Kapp followed not too long after that, cutting the ball away to cover and being comfortably caught by Haynes for 61. South Africa were 138/4, an impressive bounce back from their 0/2 start in the third over of the match.
The rest of the batting order struggled to make lasting partnerships. Susan Benade (15) and Shandré Fritz (24) added the only other notable partnership of 37 runs for the seventh wicket before it was broken when Benade was stumped.
Australia's reply was restrained to start with, managing 33 runs in the first nine overs before South Africa struck with three wickets in the following two. Two of those wickets belonged to Shabnim Ismail, who was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4/41.
Rachael Haynes and Lisa Sthalekar shared a 59-run stand to pull Australia out of the danger zone and the job was picked up once again by Haynes (83) and Jodi Fields (21) after Sthalekar was dismissed by Sunette Loubser for 29 runs.
South Africa showed a lot of improvement from their opening match against New Zealand but small fielding errors and a dropped catch up front ended up costing them.
They take on Pakistan in a must win match for both sides at the Barabati Stadium on Tuesday.
Coach, Hilton Moreeng is disappointed at the loss but is positive his side still has what it takes to beat Pakistan for a place in the Super Sixes.
"We bowled really well today, we restricted them well up front but we made some costly fielding errors that took the game away from us. There were lots of positives that could be taken out from the game as well and we will take that momentum in to our match against Pakistan. Both sides know they can't afford to lose so we will bring everything we have in our arsenal for this match," Moreeng concluded.