Women's WT20 | Got a sniff of a final and now have heartache of not winning it, expresses Suné Luus

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Suné Luus, having led South Africa Women to their first-ever final in a major tournament, stated the team could look forward to winning now that they had passed the semi-final curse. Luus further complimented the Australian juggernaut while citing them as a motivation for her country as well.

South Africa Women made history in their own backyard at the ICC Women's World T20 2023 by reaching their first-ever final in a major cricket tournament organized by the International Cricket Council. The Proteas had been knocked out in the semi-finals of the last two ODI World Cups as well as the previous World T20, making it five semi-final exits in World Cups. However, despite missing the services of revolutionary captain Dane van Niekerk, the African contingent under Suné Luus defeated England in the penultimate encounter to make their way to the summit clash against Australia.

"We got a sniff of how a final is, and the feelings and the nerves and everything, and I feel now we have a heartache of not winning a final. So I think, obviously, getting through that hurdle of the semi-final, I think next year's World Cup when we get there again, it's not going to be a big thing for us anymore to break that curse or whatever," Luus was quoted saying by ICC.

Luus, leading the side in her second tournament after the Commonwealth Games 2022, lost the toss in the final and her team ended up with 157 to chase for elusive glory. Opener Laura Wolvaardt led the charge with her 48-ball 61, establishing a crucial half-century partnership for the third wicket with Chloe Tyron. however, the duo departed in quick succession to trigger a collapse that left the side wanting by 19 runs.

"I think they did extremely well and gave Australia a good run for their money. I think there were a couple of nerves from their side as well, while Laura Wolvaardt and Chloe Tryon were batting, so I think, overall, obviously, not the result we wanted, but just positive feelings and feelings of excitement and pride. Now it's just for us to really look at that final and say, OK, cool, how are we going to get through the final and be on the other side of that? I think this was a massive opportunity for our girls. I think we've done our best to give the girls in the country the best possible chance. I don't think - obviously would have loved to win, but I don't think we could have given it a bigger shot and more of a chance," Luus said of her country's performance.

Australia, meanwhile, won their sixth World T20 title in what was just the eighth edition of the marquee event, making it three triumphs on the trot. Their only loss last year in T20Is came in a Super Over defeat against India and the Kangaroos have continued to extend their domination in the women's game with each passing year.

"Obviously they are a world machine. I think the level of professionalism is insane and I think, their team, the world has been looking up to for a very, very long time and they're the best for a reason. I think, if you look at the structures and pipelines - everything is just lining up and everything is in order. So, I think that's something definitely as a country we're striving for. And I think we obviously look at the structures and, you know, want to see what you know how we can do that best in our country as well. But obviously the best in the world for a reason. And we can only, try and get better and better to knock on those doors to eventually beat them," the Proteas skipper said of her counterparts.

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