Shabnim Ismail, Tazmin Brits seal T20I series for South Africa

Shabnim Ismail, Tazmin Brits seal T20I series for South Africa

Shabnim Ismail (l), Tazmin Brits © Cricket South Africa

While Tazmin Brits continued her good form with the bat and scored a crucial 66, it was the relentless Shabnim Ismail who made the difference for South Africa in the second T20I against Pakistan on Sunday(January 31). She finished with a career-best T20I figures of five for 12, her second five-wicket haul in the format.

After being asked to bat first by Pakistan, Brits and Lizelle Lee struggled to get the innings going. The Pakistan bowlers exhibited extreme control with the ball and ensured that the South Africa openers were not getting free deliveries to put away.

However, they seldom got support from the fielders, as three catches and a run-out chance were missed before Anam Amin dismissed Lee for six runs from 12 balls. Marizanne Kapp, too, could not play her shots through the line as it seemed like the ball was holding up a bit off the pitch.

The pair of Brits and Kapp kept the scoreboard moving with singles and doubles, adding 28 runs in 31 balls. Pakistan skipper Aliya Riaz brought herself on in the tenth over and immediately got rid of Kapp for a 15-ball 11. The hosts were stuttering at 43 for two at the halfway mark.

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Joined by Laura Wolvaardt, Brits launched a counter-attack. She stood on her back-foot and used the crease to hit Nashra Sandhu for a four and followed it up with back-to-back boundaries off Riaz. Although Sandhu removed Wolvaardt and Mignon du Preez fell to Amin, Brits held fort at one end.

She brought up her third T20I half-century in 50 balls with a six off Amin. Some late hitting from skipper Sune Luus helped South Africa get to 133 for five by the end of the innings. Amin was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 21 runs in her four overs.

If the spinners provided the initial breakthrough for Pakistan, Kapp and Ismail breathed fire with the new ball for South Africa. The former removed Omaima Sohail with an in-dipper, just like she did in the first T20I. Ismail, at the other end, dismissed Muneeba Ali and Nida Dar off consecutive deliveries.

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While Ali fell prey to the extra bounce Ismail generated with her pace, Dar moved across a tad too much and lost her leg-stump to the seamer. In her next over, she got rid of Ayesha Zafar, and Pakistan had slumped to 20 for four after six overs.

Joined by skipper Riaz, Kainat Imtiaz tried to revive the innings. Although there were numerous misunderstandings while running between the wickets, the duo added 28 runs together for the fifth wicket. Imtiaz was the aggressor in the partnership as she made 26 from 31 balls before getting caught by Ismail in the deep midwicket boundary off Masabata Klaas.

Ayesha Naseem, who walked in at number six, started positively from the first ball she faced. She hit boundaries off Klaas and Nondumiso Shangase while Riaz was struggling to score. At one point, Riaz was batting at 11 from 23 balls. However, she broke the shackles by smashing Luus for a massive six and two boundaries in the same over.

With four overs to go, the tourists needed 45 runs to win. Though Naseem and Riaz tried to hit boundaries of almost every delivery, the South Africa seamers varied the pace enough to deceive them. Ismail came back in the final over and dismissed both Riaz and Naseem. While Naseem made a 22-ball 33, Riaz scored 39 from 40 balls. The pair added 65 for the sixth wicket, the best for Pakistan in T20Is.

Ismail finished with five crucial wickets giving away just 12 runs in her four overs.

Brief Scores: 

South Africa 133/5 in 20 overs (Tazmin Brits 66, Anam Amin 2/21) beat Pakistan 115/7 in 20 overs (Ayesha Naseem 33, Shabnim Ismail 5/12) by 18 runs. POTM: Shabnim Ismail

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