South Africa 95 for 2 (Wolvaardt 49*) beat Bangladesh 94 for 6 (Mondal 42, Shorna 23, Hlubi 2-15, Klaas 2-23) by eight wickets
A sensational opening burst from debutant Ayanda Hlubi coupled with Masabata Klaas’ discipline set South Africa up for a series-levelling win in the last women’s T20I against Bangladesh in Kimberley. South Africa restricted Bangladesh to 94 for 6 and then romped home by eight wickets, thanks to captain Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 49.
Opting to bowl first, Hlubi struck on her fourth ball in international cricket, getting Murshida Khatun caught behind in an attempted drive. On the very next ball, she had Sobhana Mostary caught at slip, courtesy late outswing off a full ball outside off.
After Shamima Sultana also fell inside the powerplay – leaving Bangladesh reeling at 17 for 3 – Bangladesh almost shut shop. They added only 12 runs in the next 29 balls to be 29 for 3 at the ten-over mark. Lata Mondal and Nigar Sultana added 29 runs off 55 balls before the latter fell.Shorna Akter then injected momentum into the Bangladesh innings as they scored 26 in the 16 balls after Nigar’s dismissal. Shorna, who picked up a five-for in Bangladesh’s win in the opening T20I, scored 23 off 16 in the 31-ball 46-run stand for the fifth wicket with Mondal. She was run-out in the last over before Mondal, who top-scored with 42, was bowled on the final ball of the innings.
In the 95-run chase, Tazmin Brits attacked spinner Nahida Akter by using her feet even as Wolvaardt began steadily. The pair added 35 inside five overs before Brits was adjudged lbw off Marufa Akter, even though the ball appeared to be heading down leg.
Offspinner Shorifa Khatun then got one to spin back in sharply to trap Anneke Bosch, who hit a half-century in the first T20I, lbw for nine. But Wolvaardt and Sune Luus ensured South Africa faced no further hiccups in their bid to square the series. Wolvaardt was only helped by Shorna bowling three loose balls, including a no-ball, all of which she despatched to the ropes to hasten the end.
The hosts had lost the opening T20I and the second one was washed out.