By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan clinched the T20I series after successively chasing 151 against the visitors. This marks Pakistan’s second bilateral T20I series win against South Africa; the previous coming in March 2015 when Pakistan won 2-1.
Captain Nida Dar won the toss and opted to field first. South Africa’s batting mirrored the template they had set for themselves in the first T20I; the visitors were 46-0 after the powerplay today, which was only two short of their powerplay score in the first T20I. As it had happened then, the left-arm spin duo of Nashra Sundhu and Sadia Iqbal spun a web, effectively limiting the flow of runs and providing the much-needed breakthrough.
Nashra first had the South African captain Laura Wolvaardt, and Sadia subsequently grabbed Tazmin Brits’ wicket. They were aided by Umm-e-Hani, on debut, who bowled tight lines, keeping any runs from leaking. At the end of the first innings, the South African scorecard mimicked the one displayed during the first T20I; 150-3.
While the young opener, Shawaal Zulfiqar, out cheaply, the experienced duo of Bismah Maroof and Sidra Amin quickly sought to build a steady, yet dominating, partnership. The 68-run-stand between the two brought both stability and momentum to the Pakistan innings. This was further carried on by the match-defining partnership between Muneeba Ali and Aliya Riaz, where 54 runs came off just 29 balls. The fearless and attacking approach adopted by Pakistan ensured that the game never left their hands.
Although the target was the same as the first T20I, Pakistan did not leave it to the last ball this time. Aliya was able to take her side over the rope comfortably this time, with five deliveries remaining. Where there were tears of relief on Friday night, there was only a smile, as Aliya hugged Muneeba on the other end, after hitting the winning runs for the second time this series.
The third T20I will be played on 4 September 2023, at 7:30 pm.
Scores in Brief:
Pakistan won by 7 wickets.
South Africa: 150-3 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 41, Tazmin Brits 46; Nashra Sundhu 1-24, Sadia Iqbal 1-22).
Pakistan: 156-3 in 19.1 overs (Sidra Amin 61, Aliya Riaz 31*; Nonkululeko Mlaba 2-20, Delmi Tucker 1-24).
Player of the match: Sidra Amin (Pakistan)