South Africa survived to beat Pakistan by six runs in another thrilling finish at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
After Laura Wolvaardt made 75 and Sune Luus 62 to take South Africa to 223-9, Pakistan looked beaten when needing 52 from six overs with four wickets left.
But Nida Dar and Diana Baig kept them in it, only for Dar to crucially be run out for 55 in the 49th over.
With 10 required off the last, Shabnim Ismail brilliantly held Baig, and Pakistan were 217 all out.
The grandstand finale in Tauranga is one more superb conclusion at a tournament which has already seen West Indies pull off close wins against New Zealand and England, who themselves almost completed an audacious run-chase against Australia.
It leaves South Africa with two victories from two matches before their meeting with winless England on Monday.
For Pakistan, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament, it is an agonising defeat, but another superb showing after they acquitted themselves well against India and Australia.
Their chase was built on patience. Omaima Sohail took 104 balls over 65, sharing stands of 69 with Nahida Khan and 49 with Dar.
Just as Omaima and Dar were looking to accelerate, Dar was caught at deep square leg off Masabata Klaas, the first of three wickets for 18 runs.
Still, Dar chipped away, first with Sidra Nawaz, then Baig. With 22 required from the final two overs, Baig hit back-to-back boundaries, only for Dar to be run out at the non-striker’s end by Chloe Tryon’s throw from long-on.
Baig was on strike for the final over, but Ismail held her nerve, running towards mid-wicket to hold a superb catch off her own bowling and effectively end the contest.
While the Proteas were indebted to Ismail’s coolness under pressure, they also needed Wolvaardt and captain Luus to earlier share a stand of 89 after they had been reduced to 21-2.
Dar dropping Wolvaardt on four was costly for Pakistan, while Luus also overturned being given out lbw on 12 and 23.
Even when they were parted, South Africa lost three wickets for 10 runs, with cameos from Tryon and Trisha Chetty, who each made 31, getting the Proteas to a total that was just enough.
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