Today Pakistan changed tactics after winning the toss again, deciding to bat first and set South Africa a total, but once again unfamiliar conditions and hostile bowling prevented them from posting a total likely to pressurise the home side, their 156 runs for nine in 50 overs coming far too slowly.
No. 3 Sana Javed made a gritty 32 trying to find a batswoman to stay with her at the crease, but South Africa struck with regular wickets, and didn’t let up on the pressure.
Marcia Letsoalo was SA’s best strike bowler, claiming her first ODI scalps in her third ODI, including the prize wicket of opener Tasqeen Qadeer, finishing with career-best figures of 10 overs, three maidens, 3 wickets for 27 runs.
Ashlyn Kilowan was also impressive (10-0-32-2), her experience bringing her two more wickets, bringing her career ODI wickets into double figures in her 16th ODI.
In reply, Daleen Terblanche settled into her aggressive batting mode with two fours in the first over, and with her captain Cri-Zelda Brits’ more leisurely pace, still bringing SA’s 50 runs in the 12th over.
When Terblanche lost her wicket (run out Tasqeen Qadeer, 25 runs off 38 balls), South Africa only needed another 97 runs from 36 overs, at a required pace of 2.69 runs per over.
After a fantastic 79 not-out in the first ODI, Johmarie Logtenberg’s travails continued, lbw here to Sajjida Shah for a repeat 3 runs, she must be champing at the bit to have a full go.
Wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty and Brits settled into a brisk partnership of 30 runs off 6 overs, easily exceeding the required rate for victory, with Brits bringing up her 5th half-century in the 25th over, and taking the SA total to 100 off Sabahat Rasheed’s next ball.
Brits’ second successive 50 follows 39 in the first ODI, making her easily the batswoman of the series to date, and when she departed, Chetty and Susan Benade finished the game off in a run-a-ball partnership of 52 runs, Benade’s 30 of 30 balls particularly impressive.
With the convincing win comes caution, Pakistan is ranked 10th by the International Cricket Council (ICC), while South Africa sits at 7. SA Women’s Coach Noor Rhode told gsport he’s looking to the future: “This series is obviously preparation for us for the qualifiers in Pakistan.
“I can’t just focus on 12 players, I must get the whole squad firing in the same direction,” said Rhode, who expressed pleasure at his team’s performance. “I’m very happy, hey, the way they play cricket! They take the game to the opposition, I’m very happy with them.”
Coach Rhode was quick to single out star performers: “I think our captain Cri-Zelda Brits batted excellently, she played very good cricket, she scored her second 50 (of the series) today.”
“Another player that impressed me was young Trisha Chetty behind the stumps,” continued Rhode. “She’s bringing a new dimension to the game, with her stumping and her catches behind the wickets.
“Marcia Letsoalo bowled excellently today, you’re going to hear a lot of her in the future, she was very economical today, (and) she’s still young,” said Rhode.
Team manager Zola Thamae summed up the feeling for gsport: “They’re so excited, everybody’s so excited,” she exclaimed as SA Women approached the winning total.