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Womens World T20

Dane van Niekerk happy to dodge qualifier bullet

SA v Ban, WT20 Match 20, reaction

South Africa finished off a largely unsatisfactory ICC Women’s World T20 2018 with a consolation 30-run win over Bangladesh.

The win put South Africa at No.3 in Group A, but pushed winless Bangladesh down to No.5 with Sri Lanka at No.4. That means Bangladesh, like Ireland in Group B, will have to go through the qualifier route again to get into the next edition of the World T20.

For Dane van Niekerk, the South Africa captain who opened the batting with Lizelle Lee in this game in a change from the template, the win was welcome, but didn’t change the overall mood in the camp.

“Obviously a relief to have won and get a bit of confidence. But I think the team is still quite disappointed. I saw everybody's faces after the game. There's a lot of disappointment around in the camp. And it's going to hurt for a bit,” she said.

“We need to get a bit more mentally strong. These four teams that's gone through to the semi-finals have shown why they deserve to be there. They played incredible cricket and we lacked in the batting department. I'll never fault our bowling. I think our bowling stands up to any team in the world.”

If South Africa had lost to Bangladesh by a big enough margin, they might have finished bottom of the Group A table, and joined Ireland in the qualifiers in a couple of years’ time.

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SA v BAN: Full match highlights

“Any team doesn't want to go to qualifiers, and I'm glad we dodged that bullet,” van Niekerk said. “I guess we don't enjoy going to qualifiers. So, to not go is a relief. We just spoke about it. So hopefully, we can as a unit go back to the drawing board and see where we've gone wrong and try and rectify those wrongs.”

In terms of wrongs, or shortcomings, the performance of the batters stands out as the primary reason for South Africa’s poor run in the West Indies. Despite a lot of experience and class in the ranks, the team just couldn’t put runs on the board, leaving the bowlers with too much to do too often.

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SA v BAN: This young man is making most of the atmosphere!

“We have myself, Lizelle, Kappy (Marizanne Kapp), Chloe (Tryon) and Sune (Luus) in the batting line-up. We had just a couple of youngsters. It's just soft dismissals every single game, stuff we speak about that we just continually do,” pointed out van Niekerk.

“We don't rectify what we do wrong. And I think that was the most frustrating part for me this whole World T20. You speak about plans as batters and what you don't want to do but then you go out there and you do exactly that.”

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SA v BAN: Post match presentation

For Bangladesh, it was a disappointing end to a disappointing campaign. Two wins over India at the Asia Cup earlier this year had raised expectations, but at the World T20, nothing quite fell in place.

“This tournament, it was a big opportunity for us, a good platform for us. But, unfortunately, we lost every match. But we still are really happy because one side is improving – our bowling side is quite good, but we need to improve our batting side also,” summed up Rumana Ahmed, the leg-spinning all-rounder.