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The Proteas got the better of Pakistan to record their third victory from three, with Laura Wolvaardt in excellent form with the bat in her first innings of the tournament.

Dane van Niekerk’s side will top the group if they beat West Indies in their final match on Tuesday.

Should they lose then England will take top spot after they ended their first stage with a win over Stafanie Taylor’s side.

Wolvaardt roars to take Proteas through

South Africa maintained their perfect Group B record as Laura Wolvaardt’s superb half-century helped the Proteas to a 17-run win over Pakistan.

Wolvaardt had yet to bat in Australia but made up for lost time in style, a plethora of straight and cover drives lighting up the Showground in her 53 from 36 balls.

Classy cricket formed the 20-year-old’s approach, making the most of a tricky pitch which saw none of the four batters above her score quicker than a run a ball.

Pakistan had a similarly tough time with bat in hand, Aliya Riaz’s 39 not out not enough to win in Sydney with Shabnim Ismail, Dane van Niekerk and Nonkululeko Mlaba each taking a wicket.

“It really meant a lot to me, it’s probably the biggest contribution I’ve made to this team if I think about the importance of today and the World Cup,” said Wolvaardt.

“I’ve been itching to get going, but me not batting is the first two games is a good thing for the team.

“I’m not a natural big hitter, it’s been quite a journey for me to get that spot in this T20 side, it’s been something I’ve worked really hard on.

“We have a lot of individual match-winners in the side, we’ve spoken a lot about bringing it all together. The way we’re going about our games is really amazing compared to the last World Cup.”

Pakistan captain Javeria Khan added: “We’re disappointed in this game, it was a really good performance in the first 16 overs, but we lagged behind in the last four overs with the ball.

“We weren’t up with the plans, we didn’t execute the plans well and we lost our way in the field a bit.

“With the bat, we need to understand when the best time to accelerate is. We left it too late, but it was a much-improved performance from the girls.

“As we play more matches, we’ll understand the need to accelerate at the right time in the future.”

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