They have played just one match, but already South Africa’s T20 World Cup – on home soil – is hanging in the balance.
The Proteas Women were stunned in their tournament opener against Sri Lanka at Newlands on Friday night, going down by three runs against an opposition they would be expected to beat most times.
READ | Proteas ‘weren’t’ present in shock World Cup loss
That leaves them immediately on the back foot in the competition, and with only the top two teams progressing to the playoffs from each pool of five, the Proteas will have to fight their way out of a difficult corner.
A fixture against New Zealand in Paarl on Monday (19:00) is up next for skipper Sune Luus and her charges, and defeat there would almost certainly spell the end of their campaign.
The White Ferns, as they are affectionately known, were thrashed by 97 runs by Australia in their first game of the tournament, and with the Aussies being so dominant in the women’s game, there is already the feeling that the other four teams in Group A will be contesting for second spot.
Bangladesh are the other side in the group.
The Proteas are ranked 5th in T20 cricket with New Zealand 3rd. Sri Lanka are 8th and Bangladesh 9th.
Proteas World Cup fixtures:
v New Zealand, 13 Feb, Boland Park, 19:00
v Australia, 18 Feb, St George’s, 19:00
v Bangladesh, 21 Feb, Newlands, 19:00