A blistering innings of 60 off just 31 balls by Lizelle Lee paved the way for the Proteas Women to draw level at 2-2 with Pakistan in their five-match T20 Series after winning the latest clash by four wickets at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday.
The right-hander plundered 11 fours in her innings as the hosts recorded their second highest T20 international score to chase down a difficult 173 target and win with five deliveries to spare.
It was a wonderful effort by Lee, her ninth career half-century in the format, and one that allowed the South Africans to set up a decider at the same venue tomorrow.
Needing to win the match to stay alive in the contest, the home side opted to bowl first after winning the toss, a decision that initially looked the wrong one as the Pakistanis posted the highest score out of the four games thus far.
Nida Dar did the bulk of the scoring for her side with a career-best 75 that came at an even quicker rate than Lee – her blitz ate up just 37 deliveries and included eight fours and three sixes.
The Asian side had fallen into early trouble before that after Shabnim Ismail (2/20) and Nadine de Klerk (1/40) landed two early blows to leave them on 10/2.
But captain Bismah Maroof (37) once again came to her team’s rescue by sharing a 106-run third-wicket stand with Dar, before Aliya Riaz clubbed 35 off 17 balls to provide further impetus at the death.
That lifted Pakistan to 172/5, a seemingly tall order for the local girls.
Lee, though, had other ideas and offered her side a rollicking start alongside Tazmin Brits (18) with the pair putting on 74 in 7.5 overs.
A quick double from the visiting attack pegged South Africa back to 89 for two, before invaluable 20s by De Klerk (22) and Chloe Tryon (21) as well as 17 off 9 by captain Sune Luus carried the chase forward.
It was then left to Sinalo Jafta (14 not out) and Ismail (10 not out) to carry SA over the line.
The whole T20 series between South Africa and Pakistan will be live streamed on the Cricket South Africa YouTube channel (here ). Regular updates will be available through Cricket South Africa’s platforms on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica ) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa). There is also live radio coverage at 1World Sports Radio
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Proteas Women T20 team
Suné Luus (captain, Northerns), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Lizelle Lee (North West), Tazmin Brits (North West), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Tumi Sekhukhune (North West), Masabata Klaas (North West), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Nadine De Klerk (Northens), Moseline Daniels (Border), Nondumiso Shangase (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Sinalo Jafta (wicket-keeper, North West).
Thu 23 Day 5th Women’s T20I Willowmoore Park Benoni