Pakistan may have to wait for a bit longer for their first win on the tour of South Africa. After a 3-0 whitewash in the ODIs, they’re now 1-0 down in the three-match women’s T20I series, after losing the series opener in Durban by eight wickets.
Pakistan’s batting stuttered, and their 124 for 8 wasn’t anywhere near enough on the face of a calm 54-ball 52 not out from opener Tazmin Brits. She found able support from Marizanne Kapp, with whom she put together a 69-run second-wicket stand to all but seal victory.
With Javeria Khan ruled out due to a finger injury, Pakistan not just lost an experienced batter but also their captain. Aliya Riyaz stepped in to take over and she started well, by calling correctly. But wickets started to tumble immediately – they lost three inside seven overs.
Muneeba Ali (21) and Kainat Imtiaz (24) revived the innings, but their wickets while looking to accelerate set Pakistan back. At No. 6, Ayesha Naseem, playing in just her second T20I, showed glimpses of her talent in making a busy 25-ball 31, which would be the top score of the innings. Some lower order support from veteran Nida Dar (15 not out) gave them something to defend.
Kapp, with her pace and late swing, was the pick of South Africa’s bowlers, picking up three wickets, including the key ones of Nahida Khan and Naseem. The fiery Shabnim Ismail was, as usual, effective both with the new ball and at the death, finishing with 2 for 20 off her four overs.
Pakistan’s only hope of clawing back was to strike early, but they instead saw the openers race away to a 38-run stand by the sixth over. When Lizelle Lee fell in the seventh, they must’ve briefly had some hopes, but those were extinguished very quickly by Kapp and Brits during their half-century stand that sealed the deal.
Medium pacer Aiman Anwer had two wickets to show for her efforts, but that was as much Pakistan could take away from their bowling performance.—Agencies