Women’s World Cup: Head coach Lisa Keightley shoulders responsibility for England’s winless run

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England head coach Lisa Keightley on Monday has taken responsibility for her side’s winless run in the ongoing ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Keightley’s comments come after England suffered a narrow three-wicket defeat to South Africa at Bay Oval.

Batting first, England made 235/9 with Tammy Beaumont (62) and Amy Jones (53) hitting fine half-centuries and shared a 107-run stand on a slow pitch. But a solid 77 from South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt and all-round show of Marizanne Kapp, five for 45 with the ball and 32 with the bat ensured South Africa maintained their clean slate in the tournament.

The three-wicket win was South Africa’s first over England in a World Cup for 20 years, while it marks the first time England have lost three games in a row at a World Cup after earlier defeats to Australia and West Indies.

“As a coach, I take a huge amount of responsibility. It’s up to me to drive the team and get the wins on the board, that’s the job of the coach. And we’re trying really hard, the coaching staff and myself, to get the players up and about and we don’t have to do too much,” said Keightley in the post-match virtual press conference.

Keightley called England’s winless run in the tournament as ‘frustrating’. “The players are pretty gutted and they were pretty gutted after the last match and they wanted to bounce back. They were unable to do it, so responsibility and the buck lies with me and I’m happy to cop that.”

“Moving forward, do I feel the pressure? I don’t feel any more pressure than what the players feel and I’m no more disappointed than the players. We came into this World Cup wanting to play better than we have and we haven’t and it’s been frustrating.”

In fact, England have been winless since the women’s Ashes in Australia and barring two wins in warm-up matches of the World Cup, they are yet to bag two points for the win in the tournament.

In England’s defeats, their bowling and fielding have left a lot to be desired, with dropped catches and missed stumpings making appearances against South Africa. Keightley is still searching for reasons behind England making constant mistakes in fielding.

“We haven’t really put our finger on it really, we have fielded pretty well throughout the Ashes and took a lot more chances than we have today. I can’t really put a finger on it. The last two days, we’ve trained really well and the girls have been up and about and putting a lot of effort in. We just haven’t got the rewards in the games that it matters, so I don’t really know to be sure. It is something that we’ll have to think about when we review after this World Cup.”

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