Nida Dar smashed the second-fastest fifty of Women’s T20I cricket on Wednesday but it went in vain as South Africa Women chased down the tourists’ seemingly sizable 173-run target in the fourth of the five-match series in Benoni on Wednesday.
After being put in to bat first, Pakistan Women suffered a less-than-ideal start, going two-down at the score of 10. With the openers failing, the middle-order, not for the first time in the series, held firm.
Captain Bismah Maroof (run-a-ball 37) and Dar (75 off 37) were well supported by Aliya Riaz’s unbeaten 17-ball 35. Dar, in particular, was in devastating form, reaching her 50 in just 20 ball — just two more than the 18 it took for Sophie Devine to set the world record in 2005.
Having posted a hefty 172 runs on board for the loss of five wickets, Pakistan Women must have felt strong about their chances of moving from a 2-1 advantage to 3-1, and sealing the series.
However, they could not keep up the same level of play in the second half of the match, allowing South African opener Lizelle Lee too much freedom.
The hosts did not lose their opening wicket until the 8th over, by which time Lee (60 off 31) had inflicted some major damage and the run-rate was well under control.
Most of the other South African batters contributed in double figures and did just enough to not let Fatima Sana (27-3) be a factor in the outcome.
Lee was named the player of the match for the devastation she caused and helping her team draw level at 2-2 in the series.
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