Women’s Sport: South Africa continue unbeaten start against Pakistan to reach Semi-Finals

South Africa v Pakistan - ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup

South Africa again showed signs of promise, as they comfortably defeated Pakistan by 17 runs to qualify for the Semi-Finals for just the second time. 

Laura Wolvaardt shone with bat in hand, top scoring with an unbeaten 53 from 36 balls as South Africa posted 136-6 from their 20 overs. Pakistan, needing a win themselves to keep their Semi-Final hopes alive, got off to a good start, dismissing openers Lizelle Lee and Captain Dane Van Niekerk for just 4 and 3 respectively.

Marizanne Kapp (31) and Mignon Du Preez (17) then set about rebuilding for the Proteas, before Du Preez was bowled by Nida Dar at the end of the tenth over. Wolvaardt then combined with Kapp, Sune Luus (12) and Chloe Tryon (10) as South Africa added 82 runs in the final 10 overs.

Diana Baig continued her good form with ball in hand for Pakistan, claiming both openers on her way to figures of 2-19 from her four overs.

In response, Pakistan started brightly with Muneeba Ali, before South Africa claimed two wickets in quick succession for the loss of no runs. First Muneeba was caught by Ayabonga Khaka off the bowling of Shabnim Ismail, before the impressive Wolvaardt starred again, running out Umaima Sohail for a duck.

Aliya Riaz top scored for Pakistan again with 39 not out, and showed the same signs of attacking flair that had been seen against England previously, but apart from captain Javeria Khan (31), no other batter offered any support.

In the end Pakistan slumped to just 119-5 from their 20 overs, with Van Niekerk and Ismail both finishing with impressive figures of 1-17 from their allocated overs.

The result means South-Africa are guaranteed a Semi-Final spot for just the second time in seven attempts. They are below England at the moment on net-run rate, but have the chance to top the group on Tuesday when they meet West Indies in Sydney. Victory there would see them face one of Australia or New Zealand on Thursday.

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