1st T20I: Jemimah's unbeaten fifty goes in vain as India Women lose to South Africa by 12 runs

by IANS |

 July 5 (IANS) After dominating the ODI series and one-off Test, the Indian women's cricket team went down to South Africa by 12 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday. In a low-scoring encounter, South Africa rode on half-centuries by Tazmin Brits (81 off 56 balls) and Marizanne Kapp (57 off 33 balls) to post 189/4 in 20 overs. The Indian women tried to stem the run flow with twin-wicket hauls each by Pooja Vastrakar (2-23) and Radha Yadav (2-40). However, chasing 190, the Indians fell short narrowly despite Jemimah Rodrigues hammering 53 not out off 30 balls towards the end of the innings. India Women could manage only 177/4 in 20 overs to fall short by 12 runs. Electing to field first, the Indian team struggled for the first breakthrough as South Africa skipper Laura Wolvaardt (33, 22b, 4x3, 6x2) and Tazmin Brits raised 50 runs for the opening wicket partnership. Radha Yadav broke the partnership when she got a slower one through the defenses of Wolvaardt, who played across the line and had her stumps disturbed. Brits and Kapp then came together for a 96-run partnership for the second wicket, taking the score into three figures. They were also helped by the Indians dropping a few chances. Brits completed her half-century off 40 balls, hitting seven boundaries and one six. Kapp also followed suit soon, completing her fifty off 30 balls, studded with eight boundaries and one six. Kapp was the next to fall, claimed by Radha Yadav when she had the former South Africa captain slicing one to Asha Sobhana at short-third. Chloe Tryon (12) and Brits added 38 runs for the third wicket as South Africa posted a challenging 189/4. In reply, the Indians got off to a good start with the in-form Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana raising 56 runs for the first wicket in the Power-play. Shafali (18 off 14 balls) was out in the last over of the Power-play, caught by keeper Jafta off Ayabonga Khaka. Mandhana scored 46 off 30 balls (4x7, 6x2) while skipper Harmanpreet struck 35 off 29 balls after Dayalan Hemalatha could manage only 14 off 17 balls as the Indian team struggled to keep pace with the mounting run rate. Jemimah Rodrigues blasted seven boundaries and one six as she shored up the scoring rate, completing her half-century off 29 balls. She and Harmanpreet added 90 runs for the fourth wicket partnership, but that did not prove enough in the end. The Indians needed 38 runs from the last 12 deliveries and Jemimah struck Khaka for successive boundaries off the first two balls. She took a single off the next ball as Khaka sprays it wide and Harmanpreet also could score a single off the next delivery. A double followed by a six by Jemimah reduced the target to 21 off the last six balls, as 16 came off the penultimate over. Harmanpreet struck a four off the first ball by Nonkululeko Mlaba but the Indians could manage only eight runs off the over as their skipper got stumped off the final delivery of the match. Both teams combined produced 366 runs in this match, making it the highest match aggregate involving India vs South Africa women's T20Is. Brief scores: South Africa Women 189/4 in 20 overs (Tazmin Brits 81, Marizanne Kapp 57, Laura Wolvaardt 33; Pooja Vastrakar 2-23, Radha Yadav 2-40) beat India Women 177/4 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 53 not out, Smriti Mandhana 46, Harmanpreet Kaur 35; Chloe Tryon 1-32, Nonkululeko Mlaba 1-32) by 12 runs. --IANS bsk/

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