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May 16, 2019

Pakistan women hammer South Africa in opening T20I


May 16, 2019

PRETORIA, South Africa: Sana Mir took three wickets, while Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar hit half-centuries as Pakistan women recorded a convincing seven wicket victory over South Africa in the first T20 International here on Wednesday.

After a back-and-forth three-match One-day International (ODI) series that started with a win apiece and ended with a thrilling tie, Pakistan put in a superb team performance to take the first T20I of the five-match series.

Having won the toss and elected to field, Pakistan got to off to a good start. Sana Mir (3-14), fresh from becoming the leading wicket-taker among spinners in women’s ODI history on Sunday, dismissed both of South Africa’s openers in the first over of the game. Lizelle Lee was trapped in front for nought before Tazmin Brits edged the penultimate ball of the over to Sidra Nawaz behind the stumps.

At 1-2 at the end of the first over, South Africa were chasing the game after just six balls. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals as Pakistan’s attack did well to put a squeeze on the South Africa line-up.

At 61-6 at the end of the 14th over, South Africa were in real danger of not reaching three figures. With their prospects looking bleak, Chloe Tryon (43) and Shabnim Ismail (20) launched a late innings counter-attack to carry their side to a respectable total of 119-7 at the end of their 20 overs.

Pakistan’s chase started in similar circumstances to South Africa’s innings with Javeria Rauf falling to Kapp in the first over. Her fellow opener, Umaima Sohial, fell shortly after in the sixth over with the score still on just 29. Behind the required run-rate and having lost two early wickets, the game was very much in the balance.

Skipper Bismah (53*) then led her team’s recovery, ably supported by Nida Dar (53).

Nida took the initiative to South Africa, not letting any of their bowlers really settle. When she was dismissed for a 37-ball 53 in the 17th over, the game was as good as over, with Pakistan needing just two runs to win.

Those last two runs took slightly longer to come by than Pakistan would have expected, but Pakistan ultimately sealed a handsome victory by seven wickets with two overs to spare. The second T20I will be played in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

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