A convincing win by 27 runs for India as the women in blue curbed down the African innings to just 120 with Amanjot Kaur taking away the Player of the Match trophy and Yadav’s magnificent spell of 3 for 30, registering her one of the best performances the T20I Tri-Series 2023.
To commence with the match, Sune Luss won the toss for South Africa and elected to bowl first. Following the invitation, Smriti Mandhana, the skipper for the day as Harmanpreet Kaur is unwell and Yastika Bhatia walked down the ground in the hope to put a commendable score on the board.
Marizanne Kapp with the new ball in hand pulled off a weak start for South Africa with five wides in a row in the very first over of the square-off. This was brought down to normal by Nonkululeko Mlaba with a fine spell to start for her that made Mandhana topple a little with her catch being dropped on the very first ball of the over.
Although the Indian skipper bounced back well with a crisp square-leg boundary on the fourth ball of the third over, she miscued to mid-off and gave an early wicket to Ayabonga Khaka. In order to get the powerplay done without any more risks early in the game, Yastika and Harleen Deol played it cleverly with singles and doubles to put the scoreboard at 25 for 1. And then the post-powerplay game started with Deol’s flat smash towards the boundary and her run-out on the very next ball which was succeeded by Jemimah Rodrigues being caught down the leg.
Two consecutive wickets on consecutive balls set India on the back seat but Bhatia strived back to hit a boundary in order to cut down on the pressure built off the top order marching back into the pavilion. Two further fours and a maximum summarised Bhatia’s valuable 33 off 32 balls knock as Delmi Tucker stroked back onto the stumps. With drinks, India concluded at 62/4 midway.
With Devika Vaidya getting dismissed on the fourth ball of the eleventh over led the Indian side much into pressure with half of the strength back into the dugout and two fresh bats swaying on the crease. With much power came the second maximum of the match at the end of the fourteenth over from the bat of Deepti Sharma which was complimented well by Amanjot Kaur with two back-to-back boundaries on the first two deliveries of the sixteenth over and the next two consecutive (fours) in the following over.
Constant streaming of boundaries, singles and doubles not only kept the women in blue in an advancing position in the match but drew a bold line of decent running between the wickets and picking up on loose and steady deliveries. Kaur proved to be a master cementing the lower middle order with four fence-touching smashes back-to-back in the nineteenth over before Sharma set off for the pavilion on the second-last ball of the innings after too much running between the wickets to hold the side on a fightable score of 147 for the loss of 6.
Although South Africa lost the plot in the second half of the first innings where Laura Wolvaardt and Anneke Bosch marched down the ground to face the challenging target on the board. Anjali Sarvani took the first stretch to defend the African women and ended up with an over, bit of get-going. And then it was Deepti Sharma with the ball who smashed a boundary on her very first delivery but stroke back with Woolvardt’s wicket that seemed much of a “catching practice”.
Walking with the bat next was Marizanne Kapp who waved Sarvani for two biggies, a four on the first ball and a six on the last of the third over. While Kapp was trying to rotate the strikes and get going with the match adding continuous runs on the scoreboard, Anneke Bosch couldn’t resist Deepti Yadav’s spin and handed her wicket over to Yadav, thus putting a pause to the African innings in the powerplay that concluded at 30 at the loss of 2.
With much maturity, Kapp tried to play it safe and smart by continuously rotating the strike with Sune Luus who helped her to the fullest with incessant boundaries in each over till the former collapsed at the end of the tenth over to Vaidya, where India again came into the scene to take the control back from the African women. And the scenarios started changing as Vaidya dismissed the set-Luus (29 off 30) and Delmi Tucker on a duck to add flavour to her majestic spell.
South Africa was clouded with pressure but Chloe Tryon looked confident and in good touch with her bat as she kept the running between the wickets fine with some creamy touches of her excellence that got her and her team two boundaries in the sixteenth over before laid down by an enormous Yadav who brought the hard-fought innings of Tryon to an end with 26 off just 20 balls.
And the African innings approached slowly, with dots and minute singles, closer to the loss as Nadine de Klerk had to depart for the pavilion on the second ball of the nineteenth over. New-comer Sinalo Jafta bubbled much to squeeze out some more runs to get closer to the target with 2,4 and 2 before getting caught-and-bowled by Yadav superbly on the fourth ball of the innings. And a splendid spell of Yadav came to a scavenging end as she dropped the final curtains on the match with Masabata Klass’ wicket on the last ball of the match thus concluding the South African innings on 120 for 9.