CENTURION: Nida Dar starred with a half-century and two wickets as Pakistan sealed a seven-wicket win against South Africa in the first women’s T20 International at LC de Villiers Oval in Centurion on Wednesday.

Nida, who was named player-of-the-match, followed an impeccable opening spell by Sana Mir to take two wickets as South Africa were restricted to 119-7.

Nida then added 89 for the third wicket with captain Bismah Maroof to guide Pakistan home with two overs to spare.

Sana, who who took four wickets in Pakistan’s first-ever ODI win in South Africa last week, produced another brilliant spell of off-spin bowling to derail the hosts batting line-up after they were asked to bat by Bismah.

Pakistan lost two early wickets in the chase but the partnership between Nida and Bismah ensured that the visitors achieve the target with ease. Bismah scored an unbeaten 53 off 48 balls with four fours.

Sana, the highest wicket-taking spinner in ODIs, made a remarkable start with two wickets in her first over. She trapped Lizelle Lee lbw for nought on the second ball of the match and followed that with the wicket of her opening partner Tazmin Brits, who was caught behind without scoring.

Pakistan continued to make inroads as South Africa were reduced to 61-6 in 14 overs. But a 54-run stand between Chloe Tryon (43) and Shabnim Ismail (20 not out) gave South Africa some respectability.

Nida scored 53 off 37 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

The second T20 of the five-match series will be played on Saturday in Pietermaritzburg.

Summarised scores:

SOUTH AFRICA 119-7 in 20 overs (Chloe Tryon 43, Mignon du Preez 23, Shabnim Ismail 20 not out; Sana Mir 3-14, Nida Dar 2-30); PAKISTAN 120-3 in 18 overs (Bismah Maroof 53 not out, Nida Dar 53; Masabata Klaas 1-16).

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2019