The professional performance saw Pakistan complete a seven-wicket victory over South Arica in Pretoria, reported ICC.
After a back-and-forth three-match ODI series that started with a convincing 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 in South Africa.
Having won the toss and elected to field, Pakistan got to off to a near-perfect 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. First, 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 defendable 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.
Then came a true captain’s knock from Bismah Maroof (53*), ably supported, and possibly even bettered, by Nida Dar (53). In difficult circumstances against a high-quality attack, Dar 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 17thover , 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 next T20I takes places in Pietermaritzburg this Saturday.