Pakistan too strong for Proteas women’s team, go 2-0 up in T20 series

SA batters Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt gave the SA team a solid start.

Sidra Ameen stood tall with the bat, smashing a third career fifty, to help guide Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory and a 2-0 lead in the T20 International (T20I) series against the Proteas Women at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday.

The opening batter dispatched six fours and a six on her way to a 44-ball 61 as the hosts successfully chased down South Africa’s total of 150/3, which featured leading contributions from openers Tazmin Brits (46) and Laura Wolvaardt (41).

Opening stand

Similar to the opening encounter, Pakistan won the toss and sent the visitors into bat, with Brits and Wolvaardt setting an ideal partnership worth 74 runs for the first wicket before the latter was the first to fall after looking to be the aggressor, with Nashra Sandhu (1/24) claiming the breakthrough scalp.

With the combination of a slower deck compared to the first T20I as well as disciplined bowling from the home side, Brits and all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (26) battled to keep the scoreboard ticking as they put on 37 runs for the second wicket before Brits was eventually dismissed for a 48-ball 46 to leave the Proteas 111/2 in the 17th over.

Although Kapp was dismissed just two overs later, an electric cameo from all-rounder Nadine de Klerk (21), which included 13 runs in the final over, helped South Africa reach a commendable total of 150/3 after their allotted overs.

68-run stand

Iqbal was Pakistan’s pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 1/22 in her four overs.

With the bat, the hosts picked up where they left off from the first game and despite losing opener Shawaal Zulfiqar (4) early on, Pakistan took control of the contest through Ameen and former captain Bismah Maroof (27) with a 68-run stand to help propel the subcontinent outfit to 91/2 in the 13th over.

Despite both batters being sent back to the dugout in quick succession, with spinners Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/20) and Delmi Tucker (1/24) picking up the vital wickets, Pakistan refused to let their foot off the gas as Aliya Riaz (31) and Mubeena Ali (26) combined well to take their team over the line.

The pair put on a match-winning, 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket to seal a momentous win and secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead with five balls to spare and one match to play, which takes place on Monday at 4.30pm at the same venue.

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