South Africa prepare for Dutch challenge

Thu, Jul 26, 2007 1:33 PM

A new chapter will be added to the history of women's cricket when South Africa takes on the Netherlands in a one-off Test in Hazelaarweg, Rotterdam from 28-31 July.

The first-ever Test between the two teams will be followed by three ODIs in Amstelveen, Utrecht and Deventer, and will also be part of their preparations for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Lahore in November.

South Africa last played international cricket at home when it hosted Pakistan for five ODIs, winning 4-0 with the last match rained off. The Netherlands' last series was in August 2006 when it traveled to Dublin for two ODIs against Ireland, losing both the matches by 78 runs and 133 runs respectively.

The two teams have met only once at international level when South Africa won by four wickets in the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup match in Christchurch in December 2000.

Both teams will therefore have very limited knowledge about each other, but with two places up for grabs in the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Lahore in November, they will be keen to use this match as an integral part of their preparations.

South Africa captain Cri-Zelda Brits says her players are positive and looking forward to the Netherlands tour. "It's quite an exciting tour as most of the players have never been to the Netherlands before and will be going to unfamiliar territory. I have played some club cricket in the Netherlands, so their conditions and strengths will not be new to me," she said.

Brits is unsure what to expect from the Dutch. "Yes, it's hard to tell because they haven't been such an active touring side lately. I'm also aware of the fact that they've had a few withdrawals which means that they have a fairly young side.

"We won't underestimate any international side and therefore, we are just preparing to play tough opponents at all times," she said.

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