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Sth Africa win Cup thriller over Pakistan

Half-centuries by Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus, and superb bowling under pressure, has allowed South Africa to edge Pakistan by six runs in another thrilling Women’s World Cup match which reached the final over.

Wolvaardt made 75 and Luus 62 as South Africa made 9-223, falling just short of a par total after losing the toss and batting first at Bay Oval.

Pakistan were ahead of the run-rate early on and looked in a strong position with wickets in hand through the middle of their innings. But medium pacers Shabnim Ismael, Marizanne Kapp and Masabata Klaas contained Pakistan, who lost their final wicket with one ball remaining.

Umaima Sohail (65) and Nida Dar (55) carried Pakistan close to a victory which would have been one of the most significant in their World Cup history, but Dar was run out in the 49th over.

Hopes had swelled when Diana Baig hit fours from the first two balls of the penultimate over, leaving Pakistan needing 14 runs from 10 deliveries with three wickets in hand but they fell agonisingly short.

“I think we were clinical with the ball and winning key moments was critical,” Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said.

“We have the belief that we can win but credit to their bowlers. We fought hard but the better team won.”

South Africa’s innings started slowly and they were 2-29 after 10 overs.

Wolvaardt played superbly for her 22nd one-day half-century, adding 89 with Luus for the third wicket.

“I was upset that I didn’t go all the way (to a century),” Wolvaardt said.

“My job is to bat through and I didn’t do that. We were looking at a 260-plus score but it was not an easy pitch at all.”

South Africa are now third on the table with two wins from two matches. The tournament is an eight-team round-robin with the top four progressing to the semi-finals.

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