South Africa see off Pakistan in Women’s World Cup

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Shukriya Pakistan

South Africa made a winning start to their Women’s World Cup campaign with a three-wicket victory over Pakistan in Leicester on Sunday.

They laid the foundations in the field by holding Pakistan to 206 for eight in their full 50 overs.

The total, and Bibi Nahida’s top-score of 79, were both Pakistan records at a Women’s World Cup.

But targets of around 200 now rarely present problems for leading women’s sides, although this one did leave South Africa with a national record World Cup chase.

They were well on their way to victory, however, when World Cup debutant Laura Wolvaardt (52) and Lizelle Lee (60) shared an opening stand of 113.

The loss of six wickets for 49 runs, including three run-outs, gave Pakistan hope of an improbable success.

But Shabnim Ismail struck three fours in the penultimate over as South Africa won with six balls to spare.

“I looked calm but I was very nervous out there,” said Ismail. “I just wanted to get it over and done with.”

Pakistan captain Sana Mir added: “I think it was a great effort by the girls, the way they fought it out. We lacked in all three departments though.

“We were 20 runs short but the bowlers came chipping in with wonderful overs but there were a couple of missed catches.”

Saturday saw India launch the 11th Women’s World Cup with a surprise 35-run win over tournament hosts and three-time champions England in Derby.

Meanwhile New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka by nine wickets at Bristol.

Reigning champions Australia begin their bid for a seventh World Cup crown against the West Indies — the team that beat them in last year’s World Twenty20 final — in Taunton on Monday.

All the eight teams involved will play each other the once, with the top four contesting the semi-finals.

The final takes place at Lord’s on July 23.

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