South Africa Women's cricket team coach Hilton Moreeng on Friday (local time) expressed his disappointment with the team's loss in the opening T20I of the five-match series against Pakistan. "Not an ideal start for us. It's becoming a habit that we do not want to be accustomed to as a team, to start series like that, because we find ourselves having to play catch up cricket. When you look at our opponents, they played well, congratulations to them," Moreeng said in an official statement.
"We are just disappointed with the way we started. Losing three quick wickets in a T20 match always puts you on the backfoot. The recovery was good but we didn't back it up with good bowling on the day," he added. South Africa's batting lineup failed to rise up to the occasion in the first T20I as they lost a flurry of wickets and were able to score just 119 runs in the allotted twenty overs. Pakistan easily chased down the target by seven wickets as Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof stitched together an 89-run stand.
Moreeng highlighted the fact that it's the batters who need to rise up to the occasion if the team wants to be more competitive going forward. "That's been the frustrating thing for us over a while now, as far as batting is concerned. That's the department that we feel, as soon as it starts clicking, we are a different team. It is something we are continuously working on and looking to find answers," Moreeng said.
"We've got about nine games before we go into the World Cup. We need to make sure that whatever plans we put together, as far as rotating the squad and looking at players in different roles. How they execute that for us is to make sure by the end of the series, we can have an idea where we are as the selection panel and a country, going into the World Cup," he added. Out of ten T20I matches between Pakistan and South Africa, both teams have won five matches each. Moreeng believes that the team needs to take every ball as it comes and look to perform to the best of their ability.
"We need to win, it's very evident. From there, we need to take it one ball at a time, over by over and have calm heads on the field. We are playing against a good team, a team with a lot of good spinners," Moreeng said. "So we need to see how we can counter that and at the end of the day, we feel the mentality in the squad is so good that we can have calm and experienced heads on the field that can control the game and we'll take it from there because we have an opportunity tomorrow to level the series," he added.
South Africa takes on Pakistan in the second T20I of the five-match series today at Pietermaritzburg.
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