Winning the final would be the cherry on top - Proteas captain Sune Luus

South Africa captain Suné Luus will be looking to make more history in the Women’s T20 World Cup final in Cape Town on Sunday. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

South Africa captain Suné Luus will be looking to make more history in the Women’s T20 World Cup final in Cape Town on Sunday. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Feb 26, 2023


Cape Town - Sune Luus believes her history-making South African side can end an ‘amazing tournament’ by lifting silverware in front of their own supporters as they continue their mission to inspire a nation.

Luus will go where no South African has gone before at Newlands on Sunday as she prepares to lead her side out in their first-ever ICC World Cup final.

“I got a lot of messages last night and over the course of the day,” she said.

“It's starting to sink in and every time I open my phone, I just get more emotional every time I see a message.

“No matter what happens tomorrow, I feel extremely proud of the team, the management team and what we've done. It has been an incredible journey and an incredible tournament.”

The Proteas held their nerve to beat England by six runs in Friday’s semi-final and will be backed by a passionate sold out Cape Town crowd, as they look to get the better of the reigning champions.

“I think that's a feeling you can't really put into words. I think it's something we never thought would happen in our country, you know people standing in queues to buy tickets for a women's cricket match,” Luus said.

“It has been an amazing tournament so far, on and off the field.

“The goal for us was to inspire the nation, to get women's cricket in South Africa on the map, for young girls and boys to pick up their bat and ball and, and I guess just for women's sport in general in South Africa to be raised and to be on the map as well.

“I don't think we can do much more to show that we are serious about women's cricket in this country. Winning the final would be the ultimate cherry on the top.”

To do so, South Africa will have to improve on their group stage showing against Australia, who ran out six-wicket winners on February 18.

The Proteas have grown since then, boosted by the improving form of openers Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits, both fresh from consecutive half-centuries, and speedster Shabnim Ismail, who bowled the fastest recorded over in women’s cricket history against England, peaking at 127.4 KPH.

On her side’s opening pair, Luus said: “They are finding their stride and their confidence at the right time.

“There has been a lot of talk of whether we want to put them in the middle order or whether the middle order has to go up the order and so forth.

“But they have shown their class and they have proven a lot of people wrong. They have the confidence to go out, play their game and hopefully get us off to a good start again.

“We were 20, 30, 40 runs short in the last game [against Australia] so it’s for us to take it as deep as possible, whether we get 120 on the board or 190.

“I think for us it's just to say as calm as possible, stay focused on what we do best and trust our skills and abilities and the result will take care of itself.”

Australian captain Meg Lanning concurred with her Proteas counterpart.

“There is pressure on everyone, it's a World Cup final,” Lanning said.

“South Africa are playing really good cricket. We are expecting them to come out and play to their full strength.

ALSO READ: Tazmin Brits traversed tough roads to achieve success

“They are riding a wave of emotion so we're certainly prepared for that.

“Their semi-final against England had an incredible atmosphere and the crowd was certainly cheering for the home team, as you'd expect here, so we are prepared for that.

ALSO READ: Proteas can write their names into the history books in T20 World Cup final against Australia

“We know we're probably not going to be the team that everyone is cheering for but that's fine, you know it's going to be an incredible atmosphere and an incredible game at an amazing venue.

"We're pumped, we can't wait to get out there and play and no doubt it's going to be a great contest.”


IOL Sport