Carrying on the momentum from the first T20 match against South Africa, the India Women’s team registered another easy win in the second T20 at East London and went 2-0 up in the 5 match series.
Like the first match, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur elected to field first, after winning the toss. Proteas opener Lizelle Lee started off really well; scoring 15 off 12 with 3 fours, until Shikha Pandey handed India a breakthrough and picked up Lee’s wicket in the last ball of the third over, with the help of a brilliant catch taken by Jemimah Rodrigues.
After the first dismissal, South Africa tried their best to bounce back in the game, but due to a fall of wickets at regular intervals, they couldn’t get the momentum back. Pooja Vastrakar gave India a second breakthrough, when she took the wicket of captain Dane van Niekerk in the 7th over, with a fantastic catch taken by Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
After the skipper’s dismissal, Mignon du Preez got out by a direct throw from Vastrakar; and Poonam Yadav picked up the crucial wicket of Marizanne Kapp, which left South Africa struggling at 58/4. However, soon after that, Sune Luss along with Nadine de Klerk played pivotal knocks of 33 and 26 respectively and helped their team to cross 100 runs, before the former’s dismissal by Poonam Yadav in the 16th over.
Chloe Tryon and Shabnim Ismail added 31 runs; Anuja Patil picked up two crucial wickets of Nadine de Klerk and Chloe Tryon and South Africa put up a decent competitive total of 142 on board after twenty overs with the loss of 7 wickets.
While chasing, India started off on a confident note. Smriti Mandhana smashed a blitzy 57 in 42 balls, with 4 fours and 3 sixes. Playing as an anchor of the team, Mithali Raj’s formidable form helped her to score another magnificent knock of 76 off 61 balls with 8 fours. Both the openers steered the innings very well before Mandhana got out in the 15thover. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored 7 runs and Raj sealed the win with a boundary in the first ball of the last over, as India notched up another easy win with the loss of 1 wicket and 5 balls to spare. Poor fielding and a couple of dropped catches destroyed South Africa’s hope to level the series.
With the classy unbeaten 76, Raj scored her career’s 12th fifty in T20I; which has broken her previous highest runs of 73* and made a new record for most consecutive women’s T20I fifties (4) along with her record for most consecutive ODI fifties (7). Her 76* is India’s highest score in a T20I run chase, beating Rumeli Dhar’s 66* against England in India’s first ever T20I at Derby in 2006.
India: 144/1 (19.1/20 overs)
South Africa Women – 142/7 (20 overs)