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'Can’t afford to be sloppy', says Alyssa Healy ahead of 3rd ODI loss vs SA

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'Can’t afford to be sloppy', says Alyssa Healy ahead of 3rd ODI loss vs SA

Sydney, Feb 9 (IANS) Skipper Alyssa Healy said Australia’s 84-run defeat to South Africa in the second women’s ODI was a reminder they cannot afford to be sloppy, as well as not be open to adapting quickly in international cricket.

Wednesday’s loss at the North Sydney Oval meant it was the first time Australia lost to South Africa in women’s ODIs. It was a game where Australia dropped five catches and were then reduced to 71/8 before being eventually all out for 149, setting up the stage for Saturday’s game to be the series decider.

“I think it’s just plain and simple that you can’t afford to be as sloppy and (we did) not adapt as quickly as what we needed to. You can’t afford to do that in international cricket and we’ve proven that over the summer that when we’ve let ourselves down just even a little bit in all three facets, we’re getting punished.”

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“So, tomorrow is a great opportunity to come out here and be really clinical and perform the way that we know we can. We’re still a really good cricket side, we showed it in Adelaide just how good we can be. We’ve just got to turn up tomorrow and do the same thing and do it repeatedly for long periods of time to be as successful as what we have been,” said Alyssa to reporters.

The loss to South Africa at North Sydney Oval was only Australia’s fourth defeat in ODIs since the start of 2018. Speaking about the changes in the Australian team over the last one and a half years, Alyssa said, “I’ve spoken quite openly about the changes we’ve seen. Yes, we’ve kept winning, we’ve kept being successful, but we’ve had a lot of significant change in and around our group over the last 18 months.”

“You tend to learn a lot more about yourself individually, but also as a team, when you lose and lose well, like we did. Even today, the conversations that have been had about what’s going to take place tomorrow is already a step in the right direction.”

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“There was a period of time where cricket was really challenging for this group. We’ve had a lot of success over the last five or six years, yes, but there’s been plenty of times within that that this group has been challenged.”

Australia will also have to find answers to the challenge from South Africa’s veteran fast-bowling all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, who produced a Player of the Match performance in the second ODI, via a knock of 75 off 87 balls and picking 3-12 with the ball.

“She’s been a little bit of a pain, if I can say that, but she’s made some crucial runs and taken some crucial wickets as well which enabled them in particular the other night to get on a real roll.”

“We know exactly what she can do with the ball in these conditions. But with the bat, we’ll just have to make sure we keep nailing our plans. It’s about being really patient and seeing what everybody else in the line-up can do as well.”

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–IANS

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