Magical Lee seals famous series win for Proteas Women

Lizelle Lee of South Africa celebrates 50th run during the 2019 5th Women T20 Cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Sahara Park Willowmoore Stadium, Benoni on the 23 May 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Lizelle Lee of South Africa celebrates 50th run during the 2019 5th Women T20 Cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Sahara Park Willowmoore Stadium, Benoni on the 23 May 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Lizelle Lee smashed a second successive half-century in just over 24 hours and a career-best score as the Proteas Women clinched a famous series-winning nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final T20 International in Benoni on Thursday.

The opener blazed an unbeaten 48-ball 75, which included 11 fours and two sixes, as the hosts cruised to a 126-run victory target at Willowmoore Park with 29 deliveries to spare.

Lee put on exactly 100 for the second wicket with Nadine de Klerk (37 not out), a stand that ended unbroken, as she completed her 10th career T20I 50 and third of the series.

It completed a fine comeback for the South Africans, who had trailed 1-0 and 2-1 earlier in the sequence, before finally taking the lead in the decisive game.

On the final day of what has been a closely-fought tour between the sides, the home side won the toss and opted to bowl first, a decision that proved spot on as they restricted the Pakistanis to just 125/5.

All the bowlers shone, with Shabnim Ismail the pick of the bunch as she bagged 1/16.

The Proteas struck regularly, not allowing their opponents to get away as Tumi Sekhukhune (1/19), Moseline Daniels (1/25) De Klerk (1/10) and Sune Luus (1/22) were all amongst the wickets.

Player of the Series Nida Dar top-scored with 28 and was one of four players from the Asian side to reach the 20s – the others being captain Bismah Mahroof (23), Aliya Riaz (26 not out) and Javeria Khan (20).

But no one kicked on and that ultimately proved detrimental to Pakistan, whose modest total was no match for the home side.

Even though the home side lost Tazmin Brits (9) cheaply, Player of the Match Lee’s life-time best score that surpassed her previous high of 69 unbeaten against England at Johannesburg in 2016, was enough to hand the Proteas victory.

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 (Northerns), Moseline Daniels (Border), Nondumiso Shangase (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Sinalo Jafta (wicket-keeper, North West).