Proteas women focusing on their own game

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Proteas bowler Shabnim Ismail says the team are fully focused on what they need to do in order to return a positive result in their ICC Women’s World Cup clash against the West Indies on Sunday.

She believes that focusing more about their own performance will take them further in the tournament.

“We need to stick to our basic plans, knowing our own game and working on that, rather than trying to plan against the opposition,” she said. “We need to play good cricket on the day and play to our own strengths, that will be the difference I think.”

Ismail acknowledges that with them having yet to win a match in this World Cup, the West Indies will be a dangerous team come Sunday, especially after their latest, seven-wicket loss to India on Thursday. But the South Africans are ready for the battle.

“We know that they will come at us guns blazing, especially with us as the underdogs of the tournament, I’m sure they would like to get a win against us but we’re prepared to absorb that pressure and put it back on them. Confidence is a very big thing and I think we’ll have a little bit more than them at this point in time,” she continued.

With South Africa having only ever been in one World Cup semi-final back in 2000, Ismail says that their blueprint to reach the final stages of this year’s tournament is to take each match as it comes and that by the end of the contest, all those dots would have connected to have them reach the final.

“We take every game as if it’s a World Cup final,” she went on. “We look at every opposition and every match as if we’re about to be knocked out and I think it’s worked really well for us so far. I know our last game was rained out, but we still have a lot of confidence going into Sunday’s game because we’re backing ourselves and each other to do what is required for the win.

“West Indies have some really big hitters like Matthews (Hayley), Taylor (Stefanie) and Dottin (Deandra) and we need to make sure that we are ready to take on a team like that. We need to make sure that the bowlers hit their lines and lengths and that the batters hit their straps from the get go. If we follow our processes, then there’s no reason why we won’t win.”