Nation inspired, history achieved: Sune calls for final South African push
Quashing an unwanted record for South African sides in ICC global events by qualifying for their first senior tournament final, South Africa rode the emotional wave made by a vocal Cape Town crowd on Friday with relative calm, stunning England in the semi-final and sealing victory in the field.
For Sune Luus, the skipper of the team to finally break the tournament final drought, the same blueprint of remaining cool as the fans push them along could prove the difference.
"Yes, we know the occasion. Yes, we know everything that comes with the final, and with the World Cup trophy in South Africa," Luus said.
"But I think for us it's just to say as calm as possible, stay focused on what we do best and trust our skills and abilities and the result will take care of itself."
As online tickets sold out on Saturday morning, thousands lined the street of Newlands to secure seats for the final, desperate to watch their compatriots line up against the defending champions.
It's clear to see the Proteas' campaign has achieved so much already, though Luus is eager to send a message with a strong finish to the campaign.
"I think if you don't take women's cricket seriously now, then I guess there's no hope for whoever you are," Luus noted.
"Being in the final, I don't think we can do much more to show the country that we are serious about women's cricket in this country."
As to how the side can cause an all-time upset, plan A of a strong opening partnership with the bat, setting a tough target and defending with a dearth of bowlers as the sun sets over Table Mountain is likely South Africa's best chance of upsetting Meg Lanning's side.
Openers Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt laid the platform against England, unbeaten at the drinks break and putting on 96 for the first wicket inside 14 overs. The pair's foundation led to a total of 164, allowing the bowlers to build into their work in defending the total.
Luus paid tribute to the timing of Brits and Wolvaardt finding their groove as the tournament ramps up to its crescendo.
"They're finding their stride and their confidence at the right time," Luus added.
"I think they've shown their class and they've proven a lot of people wrong. And I think they have the confidence at the moment to just go out tomorrow, play their game and hopefully get us off to a good start again."
In many ways, South Africa's cricketers have already won. Lifting a country on its feet, dragging people through the turnstiles and in front of television sets, the team have inspired the next generation to take up sport.
The country is sure to profit in years to come, though an opportunity to turn world cricket on its head beckons for the Proteas on Sunday, almost in the middle of their own "Australia 2020" moment.
Newlands may not seat the 86,000 that filled the MCG three years ago, but the impression of a full house is sure to leave a positive mark, no matter the result.
"I think there's a lot of good things that's already come out of this World Cup in this country," Luus said.
"I think the goal for us was to inspire the nation and to get women's cricket in South Africa on the map, and for young girls and boys to pick up their bat and ball, and I guess just for women's sport in general in South Africa to be raised and to be on the map as well.
"I think in terms of that we definitely doing the job. Hopefully (the final) can just be another stepping stone to that."