India Suffer Mammoth 105-Run Loss to South Africa in Sixth Women's T20I
South Africa put up a dominant performance against India in the sixth and final women's T20I at Surat on Friday, beating India by a mammoth 105 runs to register a consolation win in a series that India won 3-1.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, South Africa put up a challenging score of 175/3, with Lizelle Lee leading from the front with a whirlwind 47-ball 84 opening the innings. She was ably supported by fellow opener Sune Luus, who's 62 off 56 balls included seven fours and helped put up a mammoth first wicket stand of 144 runs.
Indian bowlers Mansi Joshi and Deepti Sharma primarily bore the brunt of the opening pair's dominance, with Joshi going for an economy rate of 12.25 runs per over, and Deepti Sharma going for 8.67 runs an over, both ending their bowling quotas without a wicket. The Indian bowlers just could not hit their lines, and Lee capitalized, hitting 15 fours and one six during her century.
India finally took their first wicket when Poonam Yadav got the wicket of Lee in the 16th over, but the damage had already been done by that point. With the score at 144/1, in walked in Mignon du Preez, who took the score to 162 along with Luus, before being dismissed by Arundhati Reddy, caught by Poonam Yadav. Luus was out in the next over, and South Africa proceeded to add 12 more runs to the total before the end of the innings.
India were never really in the chase from the get-go. The hosts could not have ha a worse start to their innings when, after surviving 2 overs, Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues were dismissed off successive balls.
Shabnim Ismail had given her team the perfect start, and the Indian top order fell like a pack of cards, with Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Tanya Bhatia all going into the pavilion on after the other. The most uncharacteristic dismissal was that of Kaur, who was bowled by Khaka after she completely played across the line.
It looked like the Indian tail would not survive for long, but the pair of Veda Krishnamurthy and Arundhati Reddy gave the fans gathered at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium something to cheer for, putting up a partnership of 49 runs that delayed what was to be an inevitable loss for India. When Krishmanurthy was dismissed in the 14th over after making 26 off 24 balls, only eight more runs were added to the total from that point, Arundhati Reddy, Anuja Patil and Poonam Yadav unable to disturb the scorers any further.
Deepti Sharma was declared the player of the series for India, making 54 runs and six wickets in the series, but the 105 run loss was India's second biggest ever in the format, and gave South Africa a much deserved consolation win.