Pakistan complete whitewash over Proteas despite Laura Wolvaardt’s career-best knock

South Africa's Laura Wolvaardt in action for the Proteas

FILE - South Africa's Laura Wolvaardt in action for the Proteas. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Published Sep 4, 2023

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Captain Laura Wolvaardt’s career best 72 could not save Proteas women’s team from a series whitewash against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday evening.

South Africa had no time to process losing the series to Pakistan on Sunday with one match remaining in the series. They had to swallow it up and get ready to take them on the following day.

Having done so well in the T20I World Cup earlier this year, it was expected of the South African women to at least win the series despite visiting Pakistan for the first time in history.

It might have been a dead rubber in the context of the series, but to skipper Wolvaardt and her team, redeeming themselves carried a lot of weight.

The cricketing Gods were on their side on Monday with the captain winning the toss for the first time in the series and sending Pakistan in to bat first, an easy decision seeing that the home side had chosen to field first as well in the first two matches of the series.

Nondumiso Shangase, Tumi Sekhukhune and debutant in Meike De Ridder replaced experienced players Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka and Sinalo Jafta in the starting XI.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to get their first scalp as left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba completed a catch off her own bowling to send Shawaal Zulfiqar (18 off 19) packing just after the first powerplay.

Sidra Ameen (39 off 39) and Bismah Maroof (39 off 34) then steadied the ship for the home side and combined for a 49-run stand for the second wicket before Shangase got the big wicket of Ameen who had been a problem for the visitors in the first two games of the series.

Sekhukhune returned figures of 2/24 while Nadine de Klerk registered figures of 1/25 to restrict the home team to 150/5.

Going into the run chase, Proteas women fancied their chances of chasing the total seeing that they had already reached 150 twice in the series.

Wolvaardt led from the front with a career best 72 off 54, her eighth career half century but Tazmin Britz (18 off 13), Anneke Bosch (10 off 13) and Sune Luus (13 off 17) provided little assistance.

Sadia Iqbal (2/25) and Nashra Sandhu (2/16) kept the visitors at bay but it was Iqbal who got the big wicket of Wolvaardt in the 19th over, breaking the momentum and the hopes of the visiting team.

Nadine de Klerk's (20 off 22) efforts in the last over were just not enough to see them over the line as the visitors crashed to a 3-0 series loss.

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