#SAvPAK Preview: Which side will build on their winning momentum?

Maryam Mallick
04 May 2019
Sune Luus' Fifer Seals a Thrilling Victory For The Proteas

The Proteas celebrating after Sune Luus takes a wicket. ©ICC

South Africa will host Pakistan in a three-match ODI and five-match T20 series beginning on May 6. In their previous five encounters, South Africa have triumphed four times. Will the narrative change this time around? The hosts will be led by Sune Luus in the absence of regular skipper Dane van Niekerk while she recovers from injury. They will also be missing a key component of their pace attack as Ayabonga Khaka will be unavailable. However, it is not just South Africa who has been dealt a major blow to selection plans. The touring party had to turn to uncapped Fatima Sana as well, when Diana Baig injured her thumb during training.

But while their squads may be somewhat weakened, there is little doubt about the fact that both teams will come in all guns blazing, especially when ICC Women's Championship points are on the line.

Key Players

Skipper Luus will play a pivotal role in her sides crusade against Pakistan. After finding herself out of the squad for the Sri Lankan series, Luus was recalled upon van Niekerk's injury, following which she greatly impressed, taking home the Player of the Series award. South Africa will be hoping she continues the form she is coming into the series with.

This tour also sees the return of power-hitters Chloe Tryon and Lizelle Lee. Their aggression will boost South Africa's line-up greatly, with Lee leading the charge at the top of the innings and Tryon providing the fireworks towards the end.

Another vital cog in the running of the team will be Marizanne Kapp. The fiery seamer is dangerous with the new ball, but her accuracy means she is a consistent threat to the batters. Additionally, there has been a marked increase in her contribution with the bat, making her an all-round threat.

On the flip side, for Pakistan, captain Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan will play crucial roles. Being the highest ranked and most experienced members of the squad, much of the pressure to score runs will be on them considering Pakistan's batting woes. Recently though, an overall improvement in batting has been observed with Sidra Amin impressing during the series against West Indies and Aliya Riaz and Omaima Sohail both registering big scores in the practice matches ahead of the series.

Nida Dar, who has emerged as a key all-rounder will be needed to deceive South Africa's hard-hitting line-up with her spin, while also retaliating to South Africa's aggression with some power-hitting of her own.


This series promises to pack a punch not just because both sides will be desperate for the ICCWC points, but also for their ranking on the table. Currently, South Africa occupy fifth place. Trailing them by one point, with 12 points to their name is Pakistan. A series win for Pakistan would mean they move to fifth place, putting them in a good position to earn direct qualification to the Women's World Cup in 2021, especially if India forfeits their points due to political tensions. Series victory for South Africa on the other hand, would mean they leap-frog both India and New Zealand to occupy third place, while a series whitewash may see them overtake England too.

What makes the series even more compelling is that both teams come into it on the back of some good form. South Africa, in the last series they played, clean swept Sri Lanka, meanwhile Pakistan registered a historic series win against West Indies. This means both sides come into the series with winning momentum. The question that then arises is 'who will continue to ride it?'



Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Javeria Khan, Jaweria Rauf, Kainat Imtiaz, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Rameen Shamim, Sana Mir, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Omaima Sohail

South Africa: Suné Luus (captain), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain), Lizelle Lee, Andrie Steyn, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail, Mignon du Preez, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine De Klerk, Zintle Mali, Nondumiso Shangase, Sinalo Jafta