Nida Dar’s all-round brilliance in vain as South Africa level series

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South Africa 174 for 6 (Lee 60, Dar 1-21) beat Pakistan 172 for 5 (Dar 75, Ismail 2-22) by four wickets.

Nida Dar’s all-round brilliance was not enough to secure victory for Pakistan as South Africa sealed a four-wicket win in the fourth T20I in Benoni. Dar stormed to the second fastest T20I fifty in women’s cricket (where data is available) to boost Pakistan to 172 for 5 – their second-highest total in this format – and then registered a tidy 1 for 21 with the ball but Lizelle Lee’s boundary-laden 60 set up South Africa’s chase. Despite a middle-order wobble, the hosts overhauled the target with five balls to spare to level the series 2-2 with a match to play.

Pakistan’s start with the bat gave no indication of the carnage that would follow, the visitors crawling to 19 for 2 in the Powerplay as Sidra Ameen and Javeria Khan departed early. But Dar was quickly into her groove thereafter, racing into the 30s with her second six.

The runs really started to flow when Nondumiso Shangase, playing in just her second T20I, was brought on in the 11th over. Dar collected another six and three fours, the third of which raised a 20-ball fifty. At the other end, Bismah Maroof took her time to settle down, but she too opened up in Nadine de Klerk’s final over, spanking four fours in a row to push Pakistan’s score beyond 100.