Brits’ 66, Ismail’s career-best 5 for 12 power South Africa to series win


Ismail’s new-ball spell of 3-0-9-3 helped reduce Pakistan to a precarious 20 for 4

South Africa Women 133 for 5 (Brits 66, Amin 2-21) beat Pakistan Women 115 for 7 (Riaz 39, Naseem 33, Ismail 5-12) by 18 runs

A second consecutive half-century from Tazmin Brits and career-best figures of 5 from 12 from experienced fast bowler Shabnim Ismail powered South Africa to a series win with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. Defending 133, Ismail and Marizanne Kapp reduced the visitors to 20 for 4 in the sixth over before middle and lower-order contributions from Kainat Imtiaz, captain Aliya Riaz and Ayesha Naseem took Pakistan past 100, but they fell 18 runs short.

Opting to bowl, Pakistan opened with left-arm spinner Anam Amin who took a return catch to send back Lizelle Lee for 6 in the fifth over, and along with medium-pacers Diana Baig and Aiman Anwer, she hekped restrict the hosts to 43 for 2 at the halfway mark. Brits and Laura Wolvaardt then collected 16 runs off Riaz in the 12th over and even though Wolvaardt fell to Nashra Sandhu for 13, Brits combined with the middle order to smash 49 off the last five overs, with five fours and two sixes. Brits eventually fell in the last over but her 66 off 58, studded with eight fours and a six, powered the hosts to a challenging total.

Pakistan went off track in the chase early with their top four contributing 4, 2, 1 and 0 as Ismail and Kapp hit the stumps thrice within the first six overs. Kapp set the tone by starting the innings with a maiden before Ismail had Muneeba Ali caught behind and bowled Nida Dar off consecutive balls in the fourth over in a new-ball spell of 3-0-9-3.

From 20 for 4, Riaz (39 off 40) first stitched a partnership of 28 with Imtiaz off 38 balls, and then put on a quick 65 in 42 balls with Naseem (33 off 22), but they couldn’t pull the asking rate below 11 runs an over. Riaz even struck Sune Luus for 16 in the 15th over, but the required 55 from the last 30 balls proved to be out of reach. Ismail returned in the last over to remove both Naseem and Riaz to wrap up the win.

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