du Preez and van Niekerk expecting tough game

South Africa may have beaten the West Indies in an ICC Women’s World Cup warm-up match but that victory means nothing if it cannot do it again tomorrow, according to batter Mignon du Preez.

South Africa celebrated a thrilling three-wicket victory over Pakistan in game one in Leicester but its match against New Zealand was washed out in Derby.

It now heads to Grace Road to take on the West Indies on looking for win number two in the ICC Women's World Cup (10.30am start).

West Indies was brushed aside by its next opponent during the warm-ups, getting bowled out for 63 and losing by six wickets.

But du Preez (pictured), who made 30 runs in her only innings of the competition against Pakistan on her 100th ODI appearance, said that South Africa will not underestimate its opponent.

The batter said: “The washout happened, it was done and dusted and we are just focused on the West Indies game.

“We played quite well against them in the warm-ups but unfortunately that game didn’t count! Anything can happen and they are a very strong team, who are competing to make it all the way.

“They’ve been in a final before, so we won’t take them lightly. We’ve had a few days to go back to the drawing board, do our preparation and focus on West Indies.

“The warm-up win over them gives us some momentum because you’ve played against the girls, you’ve seen what they can do and proved you can beat them.

“But as the game is growing, most games are either streamed or televised, so there’s a lot more footage of the matches and teams do prepare better than in the past.

“Sunday’s game is the one that matters, so we need to make sure we rock up then.”

Meanwhile, West Indies bowler Anisa Mohammed is hoping her side can score more runs and secure its first victory of the tournament.

The West Indies lost by seven wickets to India in Taunton and Mohammed has called on West Indies batters to express themselves on Sunday.

She said: “We need to score more runs if we want to games in this tournament. We have some of the greatest players in the world, I think players just need to believe in themselves and believe that they can go out and do the job. As West Indians we like to express ourselves so we just need to go out and express ourselves.

“We have batters all the way down but it’s a matter of players getting in and staying in, valuing their wickets. We need to relax and keep believing in ourselves. We need to find a way somehow to relax and recuperate and believe we are great players. 

“I keep saying to the team that people think we are a great T20 team but this is the same team that helped us qualify automatically for this World Cup so we can win 50-over games as well.

“So we need to keep believing in ourselves and go back to what worked for us over the last three or four years and pull everything together.”

The captains are looking forward to returning to Leicester ahead of a big game for their sides. 

 “We have played and trained here before so we can better our plans and performance against Pakistan,” said South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk. “We need to play our best on the day because we know how strong their side is and what they are capable of.”   

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said: “We need to take things into our stride, we know how these pitches play because we have played here before. They are good pitches, and if we bat first, we'll have to put a good score on the board."

Squads: 

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (captain), Trisha Chetty, Moseline Daniels, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon and Laura Wolvaardt.

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman and Felicia Walters. 

Credit: ICC 

Photo credit: ICC/Getty Images

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