South Africa: Proteas Women Hold On As Shabnim Ismail Leads the Charge Against Pakistan

analysis

Shabnim Ismail had a busy day as the Proteas squeezed past Pakistan in the first of three ODIs between the two sides. She starred with the ball, while also managing a crucial cameo with the willow.

It was a nerve-racking return to competitive cricket for the Proteas Women's team as they edged Pakistan Women by three runs in the first of three One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

The two teams were back in action following a 10-month layoff, enforced by Covid-19 and the subsequent travel restrictions. And the lack of match practice was evident on both sides.

This was particularly true among the batters, who gave away their wickets at regular intervals. This saw 17 wickets fall at the Kingsmead cricket stadium in Durban.

Smiling assassin

Player of the match, Proteas bowler Shabnim Ismail. (Photo: Darren Stewart / Gallo Images)

One of those who enjoyed her return to international cricket, and tormented the Pakistani batters as they chased South Africa's modest target of 200 for nine, was Shabnim Ismail.

The experienced 32-year-old pacer led the charge in defending the Proteas' target. The Proteas would have taken solace from the fact that the visitors had chased a total of 200 or more only...

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