Pakistan’s Nida Dar scores second fastest fifty in women’s cricket

Nida Dar has often been compared to Shahid Afridi, not only for her ferocious hitting abilities, but also because she has famously enacted Afridi’s ‘starfish’ celebration (Screen grab)

Nida Dar smashed a 20-ball fifty for Pakistan against South Africa in the fourth T20I of the bilateral series at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday. She finished her innings with 75 runs off 37 balls, which is also the highest ever T20I score by a Pakistani woman.

Dar’s explosive innings took the Pakistan total to 172/5, which is also the second highest T20I total by Pakistan. Dar also reached 1000 T20I runs in the course of her innings, becoming the third woman from Pakistan to reach the landmark.

The record for the fastest fifty in women’s cricket is held by Sophie Devine, who had scored an 18-ball 50 vs India in 2015. The record for the highest T20I score for Pakistan was previously held by Javeria Khan, who had scored 74* against Ireland.

Dar has often been compared to Shahid Afridi, not only for her ferocious hitting abilities, but also because she has famously enacted Afridi’s ‘starfish’ celebration after taking wickets several times. Afridi, who had once scored a century in 37 balls, held the record for the fastest century in men’s cricket for a long time. With her 20-ball fifty on Wednesday, Dar has only helped to reinforce the narrative that she is ‘Lady Lala Boom Boom’, as is mentioned in her Twitter bio.

South Africa bowlers made a good start to the 4th T20I on Wednesday, getting the Pakistan openers out cheaply to leave the visitors reeling at 10/2 after 4.1 overs. It was then that Dar combined with skipper Bismah Mahroof to put on a 106-run stand.

In the South Africa innings, Dar registered figures of 1/21 in her four overs. However, it would all come to naught as South Africa romped home with five balls to spare. Opener Lizelle Lee led the way for the home team with a 31-ball 60.

Pakistan and South Africa are currently locked in an intense battle in their five-match T20I series. With the series tied at 2-2 after Wednesday’s result, the teams will face off in a decider on Thursday.