POTCHEFSTROOM: Experienced campaigner Sana Mir bagged a four-for as Pakistan recorded their biggest One-day International victory in terms of deliveries remaining by sealing crushing eight-wicket win over South Africa in their opening ICC Women’s Championship fixture in Potchefstroom on Monday.
Player-of-the-match Sana returned figures of 6-1-11-4 as South Africa, who were put into bat by Bismah Maroof, were spun out for a modest 63 in 22.5 overs at The Senwes Park.
Pakistan then raced to victory with eight wickets and 212 balls to spare with Javeria Khan remaining undefeated on 34.
While this was Pakistan’s maiden ODI victory over South Africa in South Africa, it was only their second win over them in ODIs with the previous one coming in Sharjah during the ICC Women’s Championship 2014-2016. On 13 March 2015, Pakistan had scored 216 for six before restricting South Africa to 159 for nine. Sana then took 2-22, but Bismah was declared player-of-the-match for her innings of 99.
The win on Monday has moved Pakistan ahead of South Africa and on equal points (14) with New Zealand. However, Pakistan are placed below New Zealand in fifth position on net run-rate. Pakistan have played two less matches than New Zealand and if they can maintain their winning spree in the upcoming two 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.”
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 them they played well and Sana Mir bowled really well.”
Pakistan’s 17-year-old debutant Fatima Sana made a dream debut when she accounted for the dangerous Lizelle Lee with her third delivery in ODIs.
Sana, who shared the new ball with Fatima, then took over and started sensationally by dismissing Laura Wolvaardt and Luus on successive deliveries of her opening over. The ex-Pakistan skipper was denied a hat-trick, but she added the wickets of Andrie Steyn and Mignon du Preez (playing her 100th ODI) as South Africa slumped to 35-5.
Nashra Sandhu and Nida Dar grabbed two wickets apiece to ensure 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 12 March, 2009.
Pakistan lost openers Nahida Khan (4) and Sidra Amin (10) early before an unbroken 38-run third wicket partnership between Javeria, who faced 43 balls and hit seven fours and Bismah (12) took Pakistan past the target in 14.4 overs.
The second ODI is on Thursday also in Potchefstroom.
SOUTH AFRICA 63 in 22.5 overs (Chloe Tryon 21, Mignon du Preez 18; Sana Mir 4-11, Nashra Sandhu 2-8, Nida Dar 2-12); PAKISTAN 66-2 in 14.4 overs (Javeria Khan 34 not out, Bismah Maroof 12 not out; Shabnim Ismail 1-18, Marizanne Kapp 1-19).