Botswana’s senior men Softball National Team started their warm-up for the upcoming World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) with a 2ÔÇô1 overall win against South Africa.
The two teams, which will represent Africa at the upcoming WBSC tournament, which is due for Turkey from July 7 to 16, played a three-match series at the National Diamond in Gaborone this past Saturday.
Playing in front of the home crowd, Botswana started the series on the front leg, beating South Africa by nine runs to take the lead.
It was, however, a different matter in the second game of the day as South Africa fought back to win 2ÔÇô1, leaving the series tied at 1ÔÇô1 ahead of the deciding game.
Any hopes that South Africa could win the series were dashed swiftly in the last game as Botswana won by seven runs to zero to clinch the series 2ÔÇô1 overall.
Although this was a friendly game, the win is expected to serve as a morale booster for Botswana as South Africa is ranked above them in world softball rankings.
Commenting on the match, team Botswana technical advisor Misael Thompson expressed happiness at the showing of his team.
According to Thompson, the team played with confidence showed consistency and determination.
He said expectation was that the team would continue to improve and perform better at the World Series as players were responding well to instructions.
Thompson said as part of their preparations, the team would be travelling to Pretoria, South Africa, for a general preparation in the form of a practice match this month on June 24 at Atteridgeville Stadium.
Despite the win over South Africa, Team Botswana captain Jury Manaka said there were still areas where the team needed to improve before heading to the World Series.
“We are struggling when it comes to offence but we trust that the coaches will work on it in the remaining time it is up to the coach to choose the right players he feels will work for the team,” Manaka opined.
Botswana are in Pool B at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) with Turkey, New Zealand, Japan, Britain, Venezuela and Indonesia.
Botswana’s first game at the World Series will be on the opening day when they face Britain.
The top four teams in different pools will advance to the next stage which is the play-offs and the rest will compete in the placement round.