South Africa women 265 for 6 (Luus 80, Lee 57, Wolvaardt 56, Riaz 2-49) tied with Pakistan women 265 for 9 (Javeria 74, Riaz 71, Klaas 3-55, Kapp 2-57)
The final match of the series not only became a high-scoring nail-biter, but also ended in a result that would please the visiting Pakistan side: a tie.
Asked to bat in Benoni, South Africa rode on half-centuries by openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt and an 84-ball 80 from captain and No. 4 Sune Luus to put up 265 for 6. Pakistan’s chase looked dead in the water when Javeria Khan was dismissed for 74 to leave them at 165 for 6 after 37 overs. But Aliya Riaz fought with her career-best 82-ball 71, and Nashra Sandhu hit a six in the last over to ensure her team got out of the contest with honours shared.
When Riaz walked out to join Javeria, Pakistan were 91 for 4, with Nahida Khan, Sidra Ameen, Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar all dismissed, and South Africa on top.
Riaz is an allrounder, but an ODI average of 12.88 before this game wouldn’t have given Javeria – or their team – too much confidence. But it was to be Riaz’s day. She had earlier been Pakistan’s best bowler with 2 for 49, and turned it on with the bat, first adding 74 with Javeria – her contribution only 25 – and then pretty much bossing the remainder of the chase. She scored 46 of the 84 runs scored between Javeria’s dismissal and her own, in the 48th over with Pakistan needed 17 from 14.
Shabnim Ismail conceded just four off the penultimate over before Sandhu slammed a six off the penultimate ball and sealed the tie with a single off the last ball.
For South Africa, Masabata Klaas and Marizanne Kapp, who finished with 3 for 55 and 2 for 57 respectively, struck at key moments to almost always keep their team slightly ahead. The point from the game was a big one for Pakistan, who had won the first game of the series after bowling South Africa out for just 63, as it took them above New Zealand to fifth spot on the ICC Women’s Championship table, just below South Africa, who have 16 points, both teams having played 15 games.
Earlier, Lee, (57 off 61), and Wolvaardt (56 off 84) gave South Africa strong start. The two added 75 for the first wicket before the aggressive Lee was caught behind off Riyaz, and after Andrie Steyn’s third failure in the series, Wolvaardt and Luus took them to 150 midway through the 35th over before Wolvaardt was dismissed.
Luus was in charge after that, and with Chloe Tryon scoring a quick 15-ball 28, they put up a big total on the board. Another day, it might have been enough to stop Pakistan short, but Riaz, Javeria and Sandhu made sure it didn’t happen.