South Africa swept to victory in the final of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier final in Stellenbosch on Sunday, after Susan Benade cracked a six over long-off in the 14th over to claim a pivotal 8-wicket win over Pakistan, with 218 balls to spare.
South Africa’s win was on the back of a crushing right-arm fast-medium spell by Alicia Smith, who claimed her international best-bowling figures of 5 for 7 in eight overs, and was a major factor in Pakistan being dismissed for 61 runs in the 25th over.
Five Pakistani batswomen lost their wickets without troubling the scorers with only opener Tasqeen Qadeer making it into double figures, as the visitors lost wicket after wicket at the hands of a demanding South African bowling attack, that also saw Susan Benade and Sunette Loubser finish with two wickets each.
In reply, South Africa lost prolific opener Olivia Anderson cheaply, and captain Cri-Zelda Brits left soon after without scoring, but vice-captain Claire Terblance (22 runs off 43 balls, 2 boundaries) and Benade (26 in 30, two boundaries and a six) secured the telling win in the 14th over.
Both South African wickets fell to Pakistan’s strike bowler, Asmavia Iqbal, but the end result was in no doubt as the host country flexed their strength in eager anticipation of the 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup to be hosted by Australia.
As co-finalists of the Qualifier tournament, both Pakistan and South Africa now join Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, who are pre-qualified for the 2009 event.
For further information and statistics, visit the official ICC website.