Recent Match Report – SA Women vs PAK Women 9th Match 2021/22


South Africa are short of what they hoped for, a total of at least over 250, as only two of the top six got into double figures

South Africa 223 for 9 (Wolvaardt 75, Luus 62, Sana 3-43, Ghulam 3-52) vs Pakistan

Fatima Sana and Ghulam Fatima shared six wickets between them as Pakistan effected a strangle by seam and spin to keep South Africa to under 225 on a green Bay Oval track. Bismah Mahroof chose to bowl first, hoping her seamers would be able to exploit conditions, and Sana found early swing but it was also the left-arm spin of Nishra Sandhu that tied South Africa down. Ghulam, who returned to the XI after five years since she last played in February 2017, scythed through the middle order to leave South Africa well short of what they hoped for, a total of at least over 250.
South Africa’s line-up, which appeared thin against Bangladesh, was also brittle in this match. Only two of the top six got into double figures, but both Laura Wolvaardt and captain Sune Luus made their starts count and each brought up half-centuries. They also shared an 89-run third-wicket partnership which held South Africa together between collapses.

Sana found early swing and lured Wolvaardt into two risky, aerial shots when she offered some width. Wolvaardt drove Sana wide of Diana Baig at point and got an outside edge when she heaved at a full delivery that grazed the fingertips of Nida Dar at gully who needed more height to haul it in. But Sana did not have to wait much longer for a breakthrough. Lizelle Lee, returning to the XI after a late arrival in New Zealand following the birth of her first child, drove away from her body, got an edge and Sidra Nawaz took an impressive to her right.

That brought Tazmin Brits, who opened in place of Lee in the first match, to join Wolvaardt. Again, she struggled to get off the mark and scored just two runs off 18 balls before trying to guide a Baig delivery fine and edged. Nawaz pulled off a second stunner when she took a one-handed catch, diving to her right. South Africa finished their powerplay on 29 for 2.

Spin was introduced immediately after the fielding restrictions were lifted, in the form of Dar, and operated from both ends after Wolvaardt took a liking to Baig and hit her for successive fours on either side of the wicket, and South Africa were unable to get away. Dar and Nashru Sandhu bowled eight overs in tandem and conceded only 25 runs. Dar also thought she had Luus in that period when the South African captain was given out lbw after missing a sweep but when it was reviewed, Snicko showed she had hit the ball. Luus was on 12 at the time.

Wolvaardt and Luus’ third-wicket stand grew to fifty in the 23rd over and Wolvaardt reached her half-century two overs later when she charged down the track to hit Fatima wide of mid-on for four. She did it again off the next ball and then swept Omaima Sohail for a third boundary in five balls to keep South Africa’s score ticking. At the other end, Luus was given out lbw a second time, missing a sweep again but Pakistan reviewed only for a second edge to be revealed. She had moved to 23 by then.

Wolvaardt’s attacking intent continued when she flicked Sana off her pads and hit Ghulam over extra over to register her best score of 75 at a World Cup, but she didn’t add any more runs. Wolvaardt got a leading edge as she reached for a slower delivery and offered Ghulam a return catch, which she took close to the ground in her followthrough. Three balls later, Ghulam had South Africa’s most experienced batter, Mignon du Preez, caught at point as she tried to cut and in her next over, Marizanne Kapp hit a full toss to Sidra Ameen at deep square leg. Ghulam took three wickets in 11 balls and South Africa were left on 120 for 5 after 32 overs.

She should have had a fourth wicket when Chloe Tyron, on 2, hit her in the air to mid-on but the chance was dropped, and it proved costly. Tryon and Luus went on to put on 55 runs for the sixth wicket and took South Africa into the last 10 overs, with a platform that needed building on. Tryon should have been out again on 19 when she edged Sana but Nawaz could not hold onto a third diving chance and Tryon took that as her cue to accelerate. She hit the first six of the innings, in the 43rd over, when she advanced down the track and sent Dar over long-on. Luus brought up her slowest fifty in ODIs, off 94 balls, with a single before Tryon offered a simple chance back to Sandhu to leave the lower-order to finish off.

Trisha Chetty hit Sana over mid-on and Dar through fine leg and Luus scored the second six of the innings when she sent Dar over deep square. Luus was, eventually, dismissed lbw when she missed an attempted scoop off Sana and reviewed but replays showed she was struck in front of middle stump. South Africa scored 66 off the last 10 overs and their innings ended when Sana bowled Chetty with a full slow delivery to claim her third.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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