Cape Town - Proteas women skipper Dane van Niekerk says there was no excuse for their middle-order collapse during their opening game of the ICC Women's World Cup against Pakistan on Sunday.
Miscommunication and untimely judgement of sharp singles saw the Proteas women in trouble at 162/6, still requiring 45 runs for the victory.
Opener Laura Wolvaardt was in fine nick before running herself out for 52, all-rounder Marizanne Kapp fell for 1 and the captain ran herself out for 5.
Despite the panic, the Proteas sealed victory by three wickets with an over to spare.
"There no excuse about what happened in the middle order, hopefully we'll rectify it," Van Niekerk told reporters at Grace Road in Leicester.
"Credit to Pakistan, they bowled really well and brought the game back.
"It's never easy, especially with the platform we had and all of a sudden we three down. I remember sitting with my warm-up clothes and all of sudden I had to get the pads on.
"But again no excuse, no run is worth a wicket. It's just about getting the basics and we kind of lost track of that.
"It is a bit frantic and it shouldn't happen. Our middle-order let us down."
Van Niekerk hailed the late flurry from Suné Luus (15*) and Shabnim Ismail (22*), which steered the Proteas women to their side's highest-ever World Cup run chase.
"It gives us a bit of confidence knowing that we have capable batters at the bottom to finish games and hopefully we don't need them too often during the tournament."
The Proteas next World Cup game gets underway on Wednesday, June 28 where they take on New Zealand in Derby (11:30 SA time).