Pakistan Women beat South Africa to win T20I thriller

LAHORE - Opening batter Tazmin Brits’ 78-run knock went in vain as the Pakistan wom­en’s team handed a thrilling five-wicket defeat to South Africa in the first Pak-South Africa Women T20I of the three-match series. 

Chasing 151, Pakistan Women accumulated 151 for the loss of five wickets to register their highest suc­cessful run chase in Wom­en’s T20Is with Aliya Riaz scoring the winning runs. Former Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof top-scored for the hosts with a 30-ball 37, which featured four boundaries, followed by opening batter Sidra Ameen, who scored 33 off 31. 

The duo also put together a 30-run stand for the sec­ond wicket before Sidra got run out in the ninth over. Be­sides them, Aliya Riaz played a crucial match-winning knock and guided her side to a historic victory with an un­beaten 28 off 26 balls, laced with two boundaries. For South Africa Women, only Marizanne Kapp could pick up a wicket. 

Put into bat first, South Africa piled up a commend­able total of 150/3 on the board, courtesy of a solid foundation laid by the open­ers. South Africa’s opening pair of Brits and Wolvaardt scripted a solid start to the innings as the pair notched up an 85-run partnership. 

The pair batted sensibly and frustrated the hosts be­fore Nashra Sandhu finally castled Wolvaardt to draw a much-needed breakthrough for Pakistan. Wolvaardt fell just six runs short of her half-century as she scored 44 in 38 deliveries, hitting six boundaries. 

Following Wolvaardt’s dismissal, Brits was joined by Marizanne Kapp at the crease and the pair knit­ted a crucial partnership for their side, adding a valuable 58 runs to the total. The sec­ond-wicket stand remained majorly dominated by Brits while Kapp batted cautiously before Sadia Iqbal got rid of her in the penultimate over. 

Kapp scored 19 off 13 deliveries with the help of two boundaries. South Africa’s mainstay Tazmin Brits then finally perished in the final over off Fatima Sana. She remained the top-scorer for South Africa with a 64-ball 78 which featured nine boundar­ies and a six. For Pakistan Women, Nashra Sandhu, Fatima Sana and Sadia Iqbal made one scalp each.

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