Sana Mir took four for 11 to help Pakistan record their biggest ODI victory in history in terms of the number of deliveries remaining. The visitors registered a convincing eight-wicket victory over South Africa after bowling out the hosts for a paltry 63 in the ICC Women’s Championship fixture in Potchefstroom.
Put into bat first, South Africa were spun out in 22.5 overs. Pakistan achieved the target with 212 balls to spare with Javeria Khan scoring an unbeaten 34.
While this was Pakistan’s maiden away ODI victory over South Africa, it was only their second win over the hosts in ODIs with the previous one coming in Sharjah in 2015.
The victory has moved Pakistan ahead of South Africa and on equal points (14) with New Zealand. However, Pakistan is still below New Zealand in the fifth position on net run-rate. If Pakistan sweep the three-match ODI series, they will join England in second place on 18 points.
After Bismah Maroof chose to bowl first, 17-year-old debutant Fatima Sana made a dream debut when she accounted for the dangerous Lizelle Lee (4) with her third delivery in ODIs.
Sana Mir, who shared the new ball from the other end, then took over and dismantled the South African top order by dismissing Laura Wolvaardt (4) and South Africa captain Sune Luus (golden duck) on successive deliveries of her opening over. Sana was denied a hat-trick, but she added the wickets of Andrie Steyn (4) and Mignon du Preez (18) as South Africa sunk to 35 for five.
Nashra Sandhu (2-8) and Nida Dar (2-12) then grabbed two wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to 63 in 22.5 overs. This was their second-lowest total after they had scored 51 against New Zealand in 2009.
Pakistan lost openers Nahida Khan (4) and Sidra Amin (10) early, but an unbroken 38-run third-wicket stand between Javeria Khan (34*) and Bismah (12*) took Pakistan past the target in 14.4 overs without any hiccups.
“It was a complete team effort by us," Player of the match Sana Mir said after the game. "The wicket was moist, so we opted to bowl first. The bowlers bowled splendidly and the batters led by Javeria finished the task for us.
“I really enjoyed taking the new ball and I am really happy with contributing in a big win for the team. We can’t relax since South Africa will come back hard at us in the remaining games.”
South Africa captain Sune Luus said: “We failed in the batting department, we really prepared well for the series but it comes down to lack of execution and being indecisive. Hats off to them they played well and Sana Mir bowled really well.”
The second match of the series will be played on 9 May at the same venue.