Proteas and Pakistan have points to prove in T20 series
The series can be viewed as the start of the major preparations for next year’s World T20 which will take place in Australia from February.
Although both teams qualified for that event by virtue of finishing among the top eight sides at the previous tournament, neither set that event alight, with both bombing out in the group stages.
South Africa won just two of their four group games, with a crucial loss to the West Indies when they capitulated in pursuit of a modest target of 108 putting paid to their semi-final hopes.
Pakistan won just one game in the 2018 competition and their most recent performance – a 2-1 series loss at home against the West Indies – suggests they are a team that still need plenty of work in the months ahead with regard to their T20 play.
South Africa are probably ahead in terms of their development as a T20 team, but that’s mainly due to the experience gained by the likes of Dane van Niekerk, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp and Mignon du Preez from playing in T20 Leagues in the UK and Australia.
Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus, who is captaining the Proteas against Pakistan as Van Niekerk recovers from a stress fracture to her right thigh, also got a taste of the Women’s Big Bash Down Under last summer and while they didn’t get extensive game time - and in Wolvaardt’s case batted well down the order - the fact they were part of the winning Brisbane team will have stood them in good stead.
Pakistan have taken note of some of the big hitters in the SA squad, notably Lee, Kapp and Chloe Tryon. But Luus showed in the final ODI on Sunday that she too was finding some batting form, making 80 off 84 balls, and that the way in which she times the ball means she is becoming a regular boundary hitter.
She was named player of the match in South Africa’s last T20 International against Sri Lanka in February with a 15-ball 26, to which she later added a wicket, and was key in the Proteas wrapping up a 3-0 series victory.
As tough as it can be to find in the shortest format, South Africa will hope to latch onto some consistency through the series as they seek to overcome a Pakistan team buoyed by their achievement in tying the three match one-day series 1-1.
SA T20 squad
Suné Luus (capt), Chloe Tryon, Lizelle Lee, Tazmin Brits, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail, Mignon du Preez, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk, Moseline Daniels, Nondumiso Shangase, Sinalo Jafta@shockerhess