A four-wicket haul by Sana Mir helped Pakistan record their biggest ODI victory to date, in terms of deliveries remaining as the visitors registered a convincing eight-wicket victory over South Africa in the ICC Women’s Championship fixture in Potchefstroom, on Monday.
Sana had figures of 6-1-11-4 as South Africa, put into bat, were spun out for a modest 63 in 22.5 overs.
Pakistan raced to victory with eight wickets and 212 balls to spare with Javeria returning 34 not out, said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman here on Monday.
While this was Pakistan’s maiden ODI victory over South Africa in South Africa, it was only their second win over South Africa in ODIs with the previous one coming in Sharjah in the ICC Women’s Championship 2014-2016.
On March 13, 2015, Pakistan had scored 216 for six before restricting South Africa to 159 for nine. Sana Mir had taken 2-22 on that day, but Bismah Maroof had walked off with player of the match award for her 99.
The victory has moved Pakistan ahead of South Africa and on equal points (14) with New Zealand. However, Pakistan is placed below New Zealand in fifth position on net run-rate.
Pakistan has played two less matches than New Zealand and if they can maintain their winning spree in the upcoming two ICC Women’s Championship matches, they will join England in second place on 18 points.
After the match, Sana Mir said: “It was a complete team effort by us. The wicket was moist, so we opted to bowl first. The bowlers bowled splendidly and the batters led by Javeria finished the task for us.
“I really enjoyed taking the new ball and I am really happy with contributing in a big win for the team. We can’t relax since South Africa will come back hard at us in the remaining games,” she added.
South Africa captain Sune Luus said: “We failed in the batting department. We really prepared well for the series but it comes down to lack of execution and being indecisive. Hats off to Pakistan team, they played well and Sana Mir bowled really well.”
After Bismah Maroof made the right call on the spin of coin, 17-year-old debutant Fatima Sana opened the bowling and made a dream debut, when she accounted for dangerous Lizelle Lee with her third delivery in ODIs.
Sana Mir, who shared the new ball with Fatima, then took over and started sensationally by dismissing Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus on successive deliveries of her opening over.
Sana was denied a hat-trick, but she added the wickets of Andrie Steyn and Mignon du Preez (playing her 100th ODI) as South Africa sunk to 35 for five.
Nashra Sandhu and Nida Dar then grabbed two wickets apiece to ensure South Africa don’t get off the hook, as the hosts were bowled out for 63 in 22.5 overs. This was their second lowest total after they had scored 51 against New Zealand in Bowral on March 12, 2009.
Pakistan lost openers Nahida Khan (four) and Sidra Amin (10) early, but an unbroken 38-run third-wicket partnership between Javeria Khan 34 not out (43 balls, seven fours) and Bismah (12 not out) took Pakistan past the target in 14.4 overs.
Sana Mir was declared player of the match. The second match of the series will be played on Thursday (May 9) in Potchefstroom.
SCORES IN BRIEF:
SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN: 63 all out, 22.5 overs (Chloe Tryon 21, Mignon du Preez 18; Sana Mir 4-11, Nashra Sandhu 2-8, Nida Dar 2-12)
PAKISTAN WOMEN: 66-2, 14.4 overs (Javeria Khan 34 not out, Bismah Maroof 12 not out; Shabnim Ismail 1-18, Marizanne Kapp 1-19)