Klaas, Wolvaardt star as Proteas women level series

Masabata Klaas (Gallo Images)
Masabata Klaas (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A maiden hat-trick by Masabata Klaas coupled with Laura Wolvaardt’s 13th career half-century helped the Proteas Women deliver the perfect response after they levelled their three-match, One-Day International series with Pakistan thanks to an eight-wicket win in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

After a crushing defeat by the same margin in the opening game on Monday, the hosts turned in a strong display at Senwes Park to win with 80 deliveries to spare.

After winning the toss and bowling, the Masabata Klaas-inspired South Africans bowled out the tourists for 147, the bowler become only the 10th woman to ever take a hat-trick in ODI cricket. After that, opener Wolvaardt hit a composed unbeaten 74 off 104 balls (9 fours) to take the series to the decisive third game in Benoni on Sunday.

More importantly, however, the result handed the home side two crucial points on the ICC Women’s Championship table, which lifted them from sixth up to fourth, leaving everything to play for at Willowmoore Park.

Although Wolvaardt was the stand-out batter, her efforts were made possible by the bowlers, who bowled the tourists out for 147. This after they made a strong start to the game when they progressed to 50 for none thanks to a solid opening stand between Nahida Khan (37) and Sidra Ameen (25).

Both were removed by Tumi Sekhukhune, who excelled with 2/20, before captain Sune Luus (2/24) cut through the middle order.

Bismah Maroof (32) was the only other player to cross 30 as Klaas and Marizanne Kapp (2/28) demolished the tail – the former finishing as the pick of the bowlers with 3/27 as the visitors were all out in 42 overs.

It was also the best career return for the Botshabelo-born seamer as she beat her previous mark of 3/32 against New Zealand at Paarl in 2016/17.

Lizelle Lee (40) then helped Wolvaardt lay a solid foundation to the chase with an opening stand of 76.

Andrie Steyn (9) then fell cheaply, but Luus’ unbeaten 21 helped the South Africans comfortably cross the line with more than 13 overs to spare. 

The decisive third and final match of the series takes place at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on May 12 from 10:00. Entrance is free.

The whole Pakistan tour to South Africa will be live streamed on the Cricket South Africa YouTube channel (link here ). Regular updates will be available through Cricket South Africa’s platforms on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).

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