LUUS BRINGS VICTORY FOR PROTEAS WOMEN
Proteas women’s all-rounder Suné Luus showed good character when she set up her side’s two-wicket win with a second career five-wicket haul in their second women’s T20 international fixture against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Sunday.
The 23-year-old leg spinner took 5/14 in her first match following being recalled to replace an injured Chloe Tryon after she was initially rested from the side for Sri Lanka tour.
Luus admits to being nervous ahead of the match but knew she had to make the opportunity count and show the selectors that she was still a viable option for the national team. She credits captain, Dané van Niekerk and assistant coach, Salieg Nackerdien for helping her stay calm.
On Van Niekerk’s influence, she said: “She just came out and said; ‘listen, you’re gonna bowl now, just bowl like we know you can and just enjoy it.’
“I think for me, it was about getting confidence in the middle and with every ball (she bowled) that grew, so I was happy with that,” Luus reflected.
“I’d had a chat with one of the coaches, Salieg (Nackerdien) beforehand and I asked him ‘how do I go about today? Because I know there’s a lot of pressure and you feel like everyone’s eyes are on you’ and I didn’t want to add pressure to myself. He was just like; ‘well, you’ve been dropped already so you can’t go any worse. You just go out there and you just enjoy it and play the way Suné plays.’ And for me with my bowling, that was Suné and I think you can expect more of that from a bowling point of view. It wasn’t my day with the bat, but hopefully, I get a second opportunity in the third T20 just to bring those two performances together.”
Luus believes that the series victory with a match to spare will do wonders for the team’s confidence going into the last match at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.
She was pleased to see Nadine de Klerk’s determination at the crease during South Africa’s 106-run chase and was even more impressed with how she kept a cool head when the pressure was at its highest.
South Africa’s batters slipped from 57/4 to 97/8 and snuck a win with just one ball left in the match.
“Coming off maybe not a great year, everyone was pretty hungry for this series win,” she explained.
“I think in the past, we wouldn’t have gone over the line (in that match situation), this is one of those wins that we’re gonna keep close to our hearts. It bodes well for the last match, the confidence from the way we managed to get that win is something that will drive us to finish the series well.
“We speak a lot about our brand of cricket and how we want to play and with these fresh youngsters, we can play fresh cricket and play according to that,” she went on.
“Although we had a collapse in the middle, I think that the bravery that they showed is a part of that brand. Nadine played fearlessly at the end and that’s something that we’ve been working towards and it’s a process for us, but I think we’re on the right track.”