Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas eager to ‘keep the fire burning’ in T20 World Cup campaign

"We're just making sure we still have that fire burning and we stay ruthless as a unit."

Having bounced back with a fiery passion, Proteas all-rounder Chloe Tryon was full of praise for her teammates for the energy they brought to their Women’s T20 World Cup victory over New Zealand, though she warned that intensity would need to be maintained if they hoped to stay in the hunt for the trophy on home soil.

After losing by just three runs to Sri Lanka in the opening match of the tournament at the weekend, the SA side bounced back to thump New Zealand by 65 runs in their second fixture on Monday.

Tryon, the team’s vice-captain, hit 40 runs from 34 balls, including six boundaries, as she carried them to a total of 134.

Chloe Tryon in action for the Proteas women at the T20 World Cup
Chloe Tryon top scored for South Africa against New Zealand. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

She then played a key role with the ball, returning 2/12 as she helped bundle out their opponents for just 67, guiding the Proteas to a comprehensive victory.

Nonkululeko Mlaba also did well up front, leading the attack by taking 3/10 and removing both openers (Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Suzie Bates) for ducks, putting real pressure on New Zealand in their run chase.

Tryon lauded the bowling attack for combining as well as they did, stopping New Zealand from getting anything going.

“You could sort of see that fire burning in everyone, that they wanted it so badly,” said Tryon, who was named Player of the Match.

“We still have two really good (group) games coming up, so we’re just making sure we still have that fire burning and we stay ruthless as a bowling unit.”

Battles coming up

The SA women will next face defending champions Australia in Gqeberha on Saturday night, and three days later they are up against Bangladesh in their last match of the pool stages.

The top two teams, of five in each group, will progress to the playoffs.

And while they displayed spectacular form in picking up their first win of the tournament, Tryon said they would need to put up bigger scores with the bat in order to put up a fight for a place in the semi-finals. But she remained confident in their ability.

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“We just need to take a bit more responsibility by batting a bit longer, getting those partnerships and batting towards the end,” she said.

“But it’s just small things for us. I don’t think we’ve got anything to be concerned about.

“We’ve got a quality batting line-up. We’re just making sure we put our heads down and work as hard as we can.”

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