Debutant and Player of the Match, Ayanda Hlubi as well as captain Laura Wolvaardt played leading roles with bat and ball as the Proteas Women secured an emphatic eight-wicket triumph against Bangladesh in the third and final T20 International (T20I) to tie the series 1-1 in Kimberley on Friday.
Hlubi produced impressive figures of 2/15 to help the home side restrict Bangladesh to 94/6 despite a contribution from Latal Mondal (42 off 62 balls; 2 fours) before Wolvaardt scored an unbeaten 49 off 49 deliveries, including five fours to steer South Africa to 95/2 to seal the win with 4.4 overs to spare.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, South Africa made a fantastic start to the encounter as 19-year-old Hlubi struck twice in two balls in her first over of international cricket, removing Murshida Khatun (2) and Sobhana Mostary (0), caught behind and at slip respectively.
The Proteas then capitalised on the momentum to see Masabata Klaas (2/23) pick up the hosts’ third scalp of the day as Shamima Sultana (8) was caught in the deep to leave the visitors reeling on 17/3 in the sixth over.
With a rebuild job on hand for Bangladesh, skipper Nigar Sultana (11) joined Lata Mondal (42) at the crease as the pair combined for a crucial 29-run stand for the fourth wicket before all-rounder Delmi Tucker (1/18) got her reward for disciplined bowling as she claimed the wicket of Sultana with the away side on 46/4.
With less than six overs to go, Mondal teamed up with Shorna Akter (23) for an innings-high 46-run partnership to help Bangladesh edge closer to the 100-run mark prior to two quick wickets falling in the final over, including a run-out of Akter and a second wicket for Klaas to restrict the subcontinent nation to 94/6 after 20 overs.
In the chase, the Proteas Women made a positive start in the middle as Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits (17) partnered up for 35 runs for the opening wicket before the latter fell in the fifth over. Bangladesh struck again soon after as Anneke Bosch (9) was sent back to the dugout to leave South Africa 52/2 after eight overs.
Bosch’s wicket was the last to fall for the host nation as Wolvaardt alongside Suné Luus (15*) showed their experience and maturity to see the innings through with an undefeated 43-run stand to help South Africa level the three-match series in the 15th over.
Marufa Akter (1/14) and Shorifa Khatun (1/10) were the only wicket-takers for Bangladesh, with youngster Shorna Akter awarded the Player of the Series following her five wickets in the three matches.
The white ball tour continues in the One-Day International series between from December 16 to 23 as part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022/2025 qualification.