Masabata Klaas went from hero to villain in the space of a couple of balls as the Proteas and Pakistan Women’s teams played to a thrilling tie at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday.
Klaas, who claimed a hat-trick in the previous game, once again appeared to turn the game in her team’s favour when she claimed two wickets in the 47th over. Her scalps included the prized wicket of Aliya Riaz for 72.
However, the medium-pacer failed to defend 12 runs from the final over as Pakistan’s last-pair managed to equal South Africa’s 265/6. It was in fact a six from No 11 Nashra Sandhu off the penultimate delivery that turned the game on its head before Sandhu and Sidra Nawaz scampered through for a single off the last ball to square the game, and the series.
It had earlier seemed that three half-centuries from the Proteas top-order would be enough to close out the series-decider. Stand-in captain Sune Luus led from the front with a polished 80 from 84 balls (6x4, 2x6) to help the Proteas to a solid total after openers Lizelle Lee (57 from 61 balls) and Laura Wolvardt (56 off 84 balls) laid the platform with a solid 75-run stand for the first wicket.
Although Andrie Steyn failed to contribute greatly at No 3, Wolvaardt and Luus continued the momentum with another 60-run partnership for the third wicket. The innings, though, gained significant momentum when the big-hitting Chloe Tryon came to the crease with the powerfully built right-hander bludgeoning 28 off only 15 balls (1x4, 2x6) at the backend of the innings.
Luus also lifted the ante at this stage, with 20 runs coming off Riaz’s 48th over with the skipper striking two sixes and another boundary. South Africa scored a total of 83 runs in the final 10 overs.
The hosts took this momentum into their bowling efforts with Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp (2/57) reducing Pakistan to 27/2 after five overs. However, Pakistan fought back courageously through half-centuries from Javeria Khan (74 off 103 balls) and Riaz (72 off 82 balls).
With Pakistan’s tail wagging too with Riaz for company, the visitors stayed in the hunt until the very end with nothing ultimately being able to separate these two teams.@ZaahierAdams