The opening T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and Pakistan saw the latter take a 1-0 lead in Karachi on Friday. Despite a superb half-century from South African batter Tazmin Brits, Pakistan were able to secure a thrilling victory courtesy of a required five wickets on the final delivery.
The South African women had got off to a solid start in their innings with an 85-run opening partnership by Brits and new skipper Laura Wolvaardt. While Wolvaardt fell just short of half-century, Brits continued her fine form since the T20 Women’s World Cup in February, making 78 off 64 balls before departing in the final over.
Pakistan’s chase then got off to a shaky start with wicket falling as early as the third over. South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp took the early breakthrough dismissing opener Shawaal Zulfiqar. Even two run-outs of Sidra Ameen and the skipper Nida Dar couldn’t stop their momentum. Bismah Maroof top-scored with 37 off 30 balls, while Aliya Riaz scored 28 and Sadia Iqbal 19 which allowed Pakistan to cruise to victory on the last ball.
The second and third T20Is will take place at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. With the series still hanging in the balance, the South African women will have to step up and put in an improved performance if they are to level the series.
Let’s hope that the Proteas can pull off an epic comeback in the remaining two matches and stop the Pakistan women from taking the series