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South AFrica win

Classy Lee and nerveless Wolvaardt seal series win in last-ball thriller

Ind v SA, second T20I, report

South Africa secured a series win with a match to spare thanks to Laura Wolvaardt’s finishing and Lizelle Lee’s fast start, chasing down a target of 159 set by India in a close contest.

Scorecard:

It is South Africa's first ever women's T20I series win over India.

India was asked to bat first again as the Proteas won the toss in consecutive matches. Smriti Mandhana (7) fell cheaply to Shabnim Ismail (1/31) for the second time in two matches as she tried to play an expansive cover drive but ended up edging it to the keeper.

A second-wicket partnership of 79 runs between Shafali Verma and Harleen Deol then laid down a solid foundation for India to reach a competitive total of 158/4.

Harleen’s good series continued. She anchored the innings with 31 in 31 balls while Shafali took chances from her end.

Shafali was looking dangerous but was undone by a flighted delivery by Nonkululeko Mlaba (1/27). Shafali fell short of what would have been her third fifty by three runs. Her score of 47 from 31 balls consisted of six fours and two sixes.

17-year-old Richa Ghosh  (44*), Jemimah Rodrigues (16) and Deepti Sharma (6*) finished the Indian innings on a high note as they added 44 runs in the last five overs.

Shafali Verma top scored for India.
Shafali Verma top scored for India.

South Africa started the chase with an early blow from Rajeshwari Gayakwad (1/20) as the left-arm-spinner clean bowled first-match star Anne Bosch for two runs.

Brilliance on the field by Deepti Sharma then ran Sune Luus out - a direct hit from the long-on boundary sending her packing for 20 off 21-balls.

Opening batter Lee kept South Africa on the front foot with a knock of 70 runs off 45 deliveries which had 11 fours and a six before she was caught and bowled by Radha Yadav (1/25).

With the Proteas requiring 19 runs in the last two, the ball was thrown to Harleen (1/32) who came through with the wicket of Mignon du Preez (10) but conceded 10 runs from the over.

Mandhana gave the ball to Arundhati Reddy (0/35) to defend 9 runs in the last over to keep the hopes of a series win alive for India. Arundhati, who was up against Laura Wolvaardt, did well in the first four balls as she went for only 3 runs but the match slipped away from India’s hands when South Africa was gifted with a no-ball. That cost India the match and the series.

Wolvaardt’s counter-attacking innings of 53 in 39-balls earned her the Player of the Match.

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