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Women's Cricket

India decimate South Africa in third women's T20I, level series

India ended the home series against South Africa levelling the T20I series following Pooja Vastrakar's four-wicket haul.

India decimate South Africa in third womens T20I, level series

Laura Wolvaardt and Harmanpreet Kaur posing with the trophy after the series ended in a draw. (Photo Credit: BCCI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 10 July 2024 4:27 AM GMT

The Indian women's cricket team secured a stupendous ten-wicket win against touring South Africa to level the T20I series 1-1 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.

Pooja Vastrakar dazled with the ball as she scalped four wickets and Radha Yadav took three to bowl out South Africa for 84 in 17.1 overs.

The Indian opening duo of Shafali Verma (27 off 25 balls not out) and Smirit Mandhana (54 off 40 balls not out) then steered the team home in the fifth ball of the 11th over stitching an 88-run partnership amid the thunderous cheer of around 15000 fans, the highest attendance recorded in the three-match T20I series.

As bad as it gets

The visitors disappointingly ended their tour with their largest margin loss against India. Their only win came in the first T20I held at the same venue during their entire tour of three ODIs, a Test match, and three T20Is.

After two excellent batting performances, one ending in a win and the second getting washed out, the Proteas would have felt confident coming into this deciding game to post a good total.

However, the Indian bowlers thought otherwise, they exploited the conditions well, by maintaining discipline in their bowling and fielding. The fielders took catches well to deny South Africa any leeway to get away with the match after a modest start provided by Tazmin Brits and captain Laura Wolvaardt.

All-round performance by hosts

The Women in Blue shone with both bat and ball as they first restricted South Africa to a double-digit total and swiftly chased down the target.

Pooja, who was adjudged player of the match and player of the series for taking eight wickets in three matches, finished with an impressive 4/13 from 3.1 overs on Tuesday. The medium pacer used Chepauk’s sluggish pitch to her advantage.

Her spin-bowling partner Radha Yadav also made good use of the conditions, finishing with three three wickets for six runs from three overs. South Africa got tangled after the fall of the first wicket and never really got the going due to the immense pressure exerted by Indian bowlers, ably supported by the fielders.

Then came the batting of India, who chased down the target comfortably. Shafali and Mandhana continued their fine form, with the latter notching up yet another half-century by hitting a six over a fine leg to ensure India's victory.

She remained unbeaten at 54 off 40 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes, while her partner Shafali also remained unbeaten scoring 27 off 25 balls with 3 fours.

Good prelude before Asia Cup

The Indian team will be brimming with confidence after this series-levelling win in the T20I series and clinching the ODI and Test series earlier. This win is also their biggest against South Africa in T20Is.

With exceptional bowling performances and strong batting to complement it, the Indian team will be in good spirits for the Asia Cup T20Is starting on July 19 in Sri Lanka.

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