Women's T20 World Cup: South Africa defeat Pakistan, enter semis
Laura Wolvaardt's unbeaten half-century guided the South African Women to a 17-run victory over Pakistan at Sydney in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup group stage fixture. Having won their third consecutive game in the league fixture, the Proteas are the only unbeaten side in the tournament, besides India. They have also secured their semi-final berth with one game to go. Here is more.
How did the match pan out?
Batting first, South Africa racked up 136/6 at the end of the first innings, thanks to the late flourish of Laura Wolvaardt, who finished with a 36-ball 53. Earlier, Marizanne Kapp (31 off 32 balls) set the tone after the openers departed early on. Pakistan captain Javeria Khan looked solid at the top while chasing, but regular breakthroughs gave South Africa the required edge.
Dane van Niekerk heaped praise on Pakistan
South African skipper Dane van Niekerk praised Pakistan for giving a tough fight in the match. "I have to credit Pakistan, they gave us a massive go throughout. They kept coming at us, it was an incredible game to be part of," Niekerk said. "The way she went about it, she has matured beyond her years. She is an incredible cricketer," she lauded Wolvaardt.
Javeria Khan played her 100th T20 International
Although the match turned out to be forgettable for Pakistan, captain Javeria Khan looked in sublime touch. Featuring in her 100th T20I, Javeria played a 31-run knock which included four fours. She rescued the innings to a fair extent as Pakistan were reduced to 26/3 inside seven overs. Nonetheless, Pakistan will face Thailand in a do-or-die final group stage fixture.
South Africa will be eyeing the top spot
The Proteas will look to extend their unbeaten run by winning their final league stage match against West Indies. They lead the Group B with six points, winning all three games against England, Thailand and Pakistan respectively, so far. Having already booked the coveted semi-final berth alongside India, South Africa would want to end the league stage at top.