Debutant Amanjot Kaur helps India overcome illness, slow surface

Amanjot Kaur, Deepti Sharma, spinners help India win by 27 runs

Shajin Mohanan S
20 Jan 2023
New Update
Amanjot Kaur

Amanjot Kaur (L) and Deepti Sharma © Gallo Images

India registered a big win against South Africa in the first match of the Tri-series at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday (January 19). Debutant Amanjot Kaur was the star with the bat for India with an unbeaten 41, while all-round spin attack didn’t let South Africa off the hook on a slower surface.

India didn’t have the brightest of starts to the evening with some of their first choice players – including skipper Harmanpreet – missing out because of possible illness.  That meant the visitors had to make the playing XI from the available shortened squad with Sushma Verma taking the water duties.

So with a weakened lineup, India needed their stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana to give them a good start, but the southpaw struggled and fell to catch at mid-off in the third over.

India were reduced to 29 for 3 in the seventh over, Yastika Bhatia, opening in the absence of Shafali Verma, struggled with pace of the wicket early but recovered to hit a few boundaries. The left-hander scooped Masabta Klaas for a six before pulling the medium pacer for a four.

However, Delmi Tucker involved in twin strikes to put India on the back foot again, the off-spinner bowled Bhatia for 35 off 34 and then pulled off a blinder to dismiss Devika Vaidya.

From 69 for 5, India needed someone to stand up with Deepti Sharma and she found a good company in Amanjot. The duo added 76 runs for the sixth wicket to take India to a competitive total.

It was Deepti who took the attack to South Africa bowlers first as she picked up Tucker over long-on for a six. After playing 13-ball for just seven runs, Amanjot Kaur drove Ayabonga Khaka through the off-side for a couple of fours. She repeated the feat against Marizanne Kapp with some luck.

In the 19th over, having taken a liking to Khaka, Amanjot smashed three fours to take India over the 140 mark. They eventually finished on 147 for 6 with the Punjab allrounder staying not out on 41 off 30 balls. 

For South Africa, Nonkululeko Mlaba was the best bowler with figures of 2 for 15 from her three overs.

South Africa were wrecked early with Deepti accounting for Laura Wolvaardt in the second over. Although Kapp started with a four and a six, the home side couldn’t find enough boundaries to keep up with the required run rate.

Introduction of Vaidya into the attack saw Kapp falling in the tenth over and soon the leg spinner reduced South Africa to 64 for 5 in her next over with Sune Luus running herself out at the strikers end.

Once again it was down to Chloe Tryon to keep South Africa in the chase and the big hitter tried her best by taking on the spinners on a tough wicket. She hit Vaidya for a couple of boundaries, she found a good company in Nadine de Klerk and together they added 39 runs.

However, with Radha Yadav trapping Tryon in front of the wicket in the 17th over, life was taken of South Africa’s chase. 

Brief Scores: India 147/6 in 20 overs (Amanjot Kaur 41*, Yastika Bhatia 35; Nonkululeko Mlaba 2/15) beat South Africa 120/9 in 20 overs (Sune Luus 29, Chloe Tryon 26; Deepti Sharma 3/30, Devika Vaidya 2/19) by 27 runs POTM: Amanjot Kaur