PROTEAS WOMEN SECURE SERIES WIN
A collective bowling performance followed by opener Lizelle Lee‘s third fifty-plus score in four T20Is helped South Africa women clinch the five-match series 3-2 against Pakistan women in Benoni. After limiting Pakistan to 125 for 5, Lee and nineteen-year-old Nadine de Klerk put on an unbroken century stand for the second wicket to usher the hosts home.
After being inserted, Pakistan lost Umaima Sohail to Shabnim Ismail in the fourth over and meandered to 30 for 1 in the Powerplay. Javeria Khan (20), captain Bismah Maroof (23), Nida Dar (28) and Aliya Riaz (26) all moved into the twenties, but none could find a gear high enough to hurt South Africa. The hosts used six bowlers, with only Masabata Klaas going wicketless. She was also the only frontline bowler to concede over eight runs an over. Ismail was the most economical of the lot, ending with 1 for 16 in her four overs.
Although Pakistan hit 19 off their last two overs, they ended with only 125 for 5. The target appeared much slimmer when Lee got going with a brace of boundaries off Riaz in the second over of the chase. Two overs later, he opening partner Tazmin Brits was dismissed by Nida Dar, but Lee moved to a 40-ball fifty and cut loose soon after, hitting Riaz for three fours in a row in the 15th over. Then, with South Africa needing five off five overs, she smashed a six off Dar to secure victory. Lee was well supported by de Klerk who contributed 37 in an unbroken 100-run stand that came at a run-rate of nearly nine.
While Lee was named Player of the Match, Dar has adjudged the Player of the Series for backing up her 192 runs with five wickets. Lee rounded off the series as the top scorer, making one run more than Dar’s tally. Nobody took more wickets than Dar – Ismail and Moseline Daniels also claimed five wickets each.