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A walk in the park

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South Africa again failed to come to terms with Pakistan’s craftiness and composure yesterday, handing the tourists the lead at the start of the five match T20 series.

Player of the Match, Nida Dar (without cap) celebrates another SA dismissal at the Tuks Oval yesterday. Pakistan cruised to an easy seven wicket victory.

First T20 International

LC de Villiers Oval, Pretoria

South Africa (7 wkts; 20 ov)119

Pakistan (3 wkts; 18 ov)120

RESULT: Pakistan won by 7 wickets

South Africa again failed to come to terms with Pakistan’s craftiness and composure yesterday, handing the tourists the lead at the start of the five match T20 series.

The Proteas failed again with the bat, something that will leave their dressing-room seething, given it’s the area of their game which has come in for particular focus for a long time.

The loss of three wickets inside the power play, including two of the team’s most dynamic hitters – Lizelle Lee and Marizanne Kapp – immediately had the home side on the backfoot after skipper Suné Luus had chosen to bat first at the Tuks Oval in Tshwane yesterday.

As a result, South Africa had to consolidate but could never find any momentum, eventually leaving Pakistan with a modest target to chase.

That early damage was done by the experienced off-spinner Sana Mir, who dismissed the openers Lee and Tazmin Brits in the first over.

Kapp was sent up the order to No 3 but having faced 16 balls, she scored just 10 runs before she was bowled by another of Pakistan’s offies, Nida Dar.

Luus and Mignon du Preez tried to consolidate thereafter, adding 29 for the fourth wicket, but in trying to accelerate the scoring rate Du Preez, slapped a long hop from Nashra Sandhu straight to Aliya Riaz at midwicket after scoring 23.

Luus gradually got more frustrated at her inability to find the boundary and was bowled trying an almighty swipe by Mir.

It took a 54-run stand between Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail, to add a modicum of respectability to the total. Tryon produced some typically big blows in her innings of 43 off only 31 balls and included three fours and a big six. Ismail, scored a feisty 20 not out, but the final total was never going to test a Pakistan side carrying a lot of confidence after drawing the recent ODI series.

Pressure

Kapp dismissed opener Javeria Rauf with the third ball of the innings, and with Tumi Sekhukhune adding the wicket of Umaima Sohail in the fifth over, via a good catch off her own bowling, the hosts had the opportunity to apply pressure.

However, the Pakistani captain Bismah Maroof and Dar added 89 for the third wicket, to put paid to the home side’s hopes.

Luus will rue not bowling Kapp more in the power play, while the rest of the bowlers lacked discipline, allowing Maroof and Nida Dar to play aggressively.

Both scored 53 off 48 and 37 balls respectively.

The second T20 International will be played in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.