PRETORIA – The Proteas Women again failed to come to terms with Pakistan’s craftiness and composure on Wednesday, handing the tourists the lead at the start of a five-match T20 series with a seven-wicket defeat.
South Africa failed again with the bat, something that will leave their dressing-room seething, given it’s the area of their game which has come in for particular focus for a long time.
The loss of three wickets inside the power play, including two of the team’s most dynamic hitters – Lizelle Lee and Marizanne Kapp – immediately had the home side on the back foot after skipper Suné Luus had chosen to bat first at the Tuks Oval in Tshwane on Wednesday.
As a result South Africa had to consolidate, but by continuing to lose wickets, they could never find any momentum, eventually leaving Pakistan with a modest target of 120 to chase.
That early damage was done by the experienced off-spinner Sana Mir, who dismissed the openers Lee and Tazmin Brits in the first over.
Kapp was sent up the order to No 3, but having faced 16 balls, she scored just 10, including one boundary before she was bowled by another of Pakistan’s offies, Nida Dar.
Luus and Mignon du Preez tried to consolidate thereafter, adding 29 for the fourth wicket, but in trying to accelerate the scoring rate, Du Preez slapped a long hop from Nashra Sandhu straight to Aliya Riaz at midwicket after scoring 23.
Luus grew gradually frustrated at her inability to find the boundary, and was bowled trying an almighty swipe by Sana Mir.
It took a 54-run stand between Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail to add a modicum of respectability to the final total of 119/7.
Tryon produced some typically big blows in her innings of 43 that came off only 31 balls, and included three fours and a big six heaved over midwicket.
Ismail scored a feisty 20 not out, but the final total was never going to test a Pakistan side carrying a lot of confidence after drawing the ODI series between the two sides last week.
Thanks to a brilliant partnership between Chloe Tryon (43) and Shabnim Ismail (20*) helped the #ProteasWomen to 119/7 after their allotted 20 overs. @TheRealPCB's Sana Mir claimed figures of 3/14 with the ball. #WeAreMore #AlwaysRising #SAvPAK pic.twitter.com/XTHXwhYJvV— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 15, 2019
Kapp dismissed opener Javeria Rauf with the third ball of the innings, and with Tumi Sekhukhune adding the wicket of Umaima Sohail in the fifth over, via a good catch off her own bowling, the hosts had the opportunity to apply pressure.
However, Pakistani captain Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar added 89 for the third wicket to put paid to the home side’s hopes.
That’s it at the Assupol Tuks Oval. @TheRealPCB take the honours in the first T20I thanks to a 7-wicket victory.— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 15, 2019
Player of the match goes to Nidar Dar for her 2/30 and 53 off 37 balls. #ProteasWomen #WeAreMore #AlwaysRising #SAvPAK pic.twitter.com/xp1oFGdvrt
Luus will rue not bowling Kapp more in the power play, while the rest of the bowlers lacked discipline, allowing Maroof and Nida Dar to play aggressively.
Both scored 53, with Maroof still batting at the end, having faced 48 balls and hitting four fours.
Nida Dar played with even more intent, taking just 37 balls for her innings, hitting seven fours and two sixes.
The second T20 International will be played in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.@shockerhess