DOHA, January 18, 2014 – South Africa made it back-to-back wins over Pakistan to win the Qatar International Women’s Cricket Championship in Doha. Whereas Wednesday’s win was in a dead-rubber, today they triumphed in the tournament final to defeat the nominal hosts Pakistan.
It was another low-scoring affair as Pakistan collapsed from 56 for two to be all out for just 94 after being asked to bat. Shabnim Ismail took three for 25, while Moseline Daniels and Sunette Loubser took two apiece.
South Africa’s run chase was far from straightforward as they lost two early wickets before a brief partnership and then two more quick wickets left them on 38 for four. However, 31 year-old Loubser followed up her excellence with the ball by hitting a steadfast unbeaten 25 off 73 balls as the Proteas won in the 44th over by four wickets.
Pakistan had again begun steadily after being asked to bat by Mignon du Preez. Openers Sidra Ameen and Javeria Khan put on 20 in nine overs before Ismail struck to remove the former for five and Nain Abidi’s poor form continued when she was dismissed by Daniels – playing her first match of the tournament – in the very next over. Eventual player of the tournament Javeria and new batter Bismah Maroof, though, looked to be establishing a promising position for their side with a third-wicket stand of 34. Unfortunately, Javeria’s dismissal at the hands of Loubser was to mark the beginning of the end as a steady stream of wickets followed.
Maroof was sent back by Marizanne Kapp (8-2-13-1) two runs later for 14, with only Nida Dar of the subsequent batters reaching double figures. Dane van Niekerk (4-2-3-1) got the important wicket of skipper Sana Mir (8), while Ismail picked up Asmavia Iqbal (5) and Batool Fatima (1).
The Proteas then lost Lizelle Lee and du Preez inside the first four overs of their run chase to Asmavia Iqbal and Sana Mir respectively. Kapp and Trisha Chetty began the rebuild with a useful partnership of 23 for the third-wicket, but they were removed in the very same over by Sumaiya Siddiqi.
At 38 for four after 21 overs, the game was anyone’s. Shandre Fritz and Loubser soon re-established the initiative for their side by adding 31 for the fifth-wicket. Fritz hit two boundaries before being caught by Sadia Yousuf off Nida Dar when on 19. Dar also removed Chloe Tryon for seven, but, by then, South Africa needed only two to win. Van Niekerk joined Loubser to seal the win as the Proteas completed a tournament that began for them with a washout against Ireland and then a defeat to Pakistan by lifting the trophy.
The three sides – Ireland, Pakistan and South Africa – will now play each other again in a Twenty20 tri-series, which begins on Sunday with a double-header when Pakistan and South Africa do battle once again, before the former play Ireland in the evening.