The Momentum Proteas got their 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup campaign off to a winning start when they beat Pakistan by three wickets at Grace Road in Leicester on Sunday.
This win marks the side’s highest-ever World Cup run chase after they were set a 207-run target by Sana Mir’s charges after Pakistan ended their innings on 206/8, their highest World Cup total, after being asked to bat first.
Nahida Khan was led the batting effort, hitting a 101-ball 79, including nine fours and a six. After the initial breakthrough by Marizanne Kapp (1/48) seeing the end of Ayesha Zafar for nine in the second over, Khan spearheaded a 33-run, second-wicket stand with Javeira Khan (17), before she was run out by Shabnim Ismail off the bowling of Kapp.
It was downhill from there, with no one getting more than Asmavia Iqbal’s 27 (38 balls). Moseline Daniels (2/21) and Ismail (2/52) returned two wickets each, while Suné Luus (1/18) and captain, Dané van Niekerk (1/14) took one a piece.
South Africa’s batting reply got off to an excellent start with Lizelle Lee (60) and Laura Wolvaardt (52) sharing a 113-run opening stand. The former was trapped in front by opposing skipper, Mir, but things got dicey when the latter, while batting with Trisha Chetty, was run out by Zafar at the start of the 31st.
The run outs did not end there however, Kapp and Van Niekerk both fell to the same dismissal for one and five respectively. Those, coupled with the loss of Chloe Tryon who was bowled out by Sadia Yousuf for three, saw the Proteas slip to 162/6 after 41.3 overs.
Losing six wickets in 49 runs was not ideal, but Ismail made her biggest contribution in the game yet, smashing three boundaries in the second-last over to secure victory for her side.
She was delighted to be have helped her team to an opening win. She said: “It’s really important to start tournaments like this on a positive note because it gives you momentum going into the next matches.
“The confidence boost from today’s game is going to take us a long way in this tournament, just that belief that we can pull off a win, even when it looks as though we are down and out, showed us that we are capable of more.
“I’m just really excited about my batting. Before going out there, I sat by myself and told myself that I can do this, with Sune (Luus) at the crease still, I knew we weren’t down and out. I’m looking forward to the next game against New Zealand.”
South Africa will move to Derby on Monday, where they will play the White Ferns on Wednesday. The match will be live on SuperSport 2 at 11:00.
Proteas Women Round-Robin Phase Match Schedule (All 1st round matches at 11:30 SA time):
Sun 25 June 2017: SA beat Pakistan by 3 wickets
Wed 28 June 2017: Sa v New Zealand (County Ground, Derby)
Sun 2 Jul: SA v West Indies (Grace Road Leicester)
Wed 5 Jul: SA v England (County Ground, Bristol)
Sat 8 Jul: SA v India (Grace Road, Leicester)
Wed 12 Jul: SA v Sri Lanka (The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
Sat 15 Jul: SA v Australia (The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton)
Tue 18 Jul: Semi-final 1 (County Ground, Bristol)
Thu 20 Jul: Semi-final 2 (County Ground, Derby)
Sun 23 Jul: Final (Lord’s, London)
Dané van Niekerk (captain)
Nadine de Klerk
Mignon du Preez
Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach)
Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager)
Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach)
Russell Clarke (Fitness Trainer)
Abram Ramoadi (Video Analyst)
Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist)
Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison)
Photo 1 caption: Shabnim Ismail featured with the bat and the ball to earn her Player of the Match honour in SA’s opening ICC Women’s World Cup in Leicester on Sunday. After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the Proteas Women restricted Pakistan to 206 in their 50 overs, before achieving the asking total to win by 3 wickets, with 6 balls remaining. Photo: ICC
Photo 2 caption: Moseline Daniels bowled Pakistan no. 3 Javeria Khan for 17, to finish with encouraging figures of 2/21 with 4 maidens in her 10 overs. Photo: ICC
Photo 3 caption: Proteas Women opener Laura Wolvaardt impressed the commentators with her commanding off-side play in an opening stand of 113 with Lizelle Lee, to powerfully kick off SA’s chase of Pakistan’s 206. Photo: ICC
Photo 4 caption: Batting powerhouse Lizelle Lee admires a big six hit off Pakistan’s Nashra Sandhu. Lee top-scored with 60 off 79 balls for SA, hitting three 6’s and eight boundaries in her 113 runs opening stand with Wolvaardt. Photo: ICC
With editing by gsport