There was cricket, finally. The women’s T20I series, drenched badly by persistent rain for the last few days, resumed on Tuesday with India eves registering a thumping win.
The 51-run victory in the fourth match at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, in front of another big crowd, gave the host a 2-0 lead, with another couple of games to go. The second and third games were washed out.
It was truly a dominating show by the Women in Blue against a South African side that failed to put up a fight.
The match was reduced to 17-overs-a-side after the game began an hour late because of wet outfield. Much went right for India, whose win was fashioned by 15-year-old opener Shafali Verma and the spinning Yadav duo of Poonam and Radha, who shared five wickets between them.
There were several highlights in the Indian innings, such as the fearlessness showed by Shafali Varma, the brief spell of ferocious hitting by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and the impeccable timing of Jemimah Rodrigues. But, it was the visitor's abysmal fielding that decided the course of the match.
The South African fielders dropped opener Smriti Mandhana four times and Shafali twice as the opening duo put on 52 runs in 6 overs.
READ | As it happened
Shafali fell short of a maiden international fifty by four runs but her 33-ball 46 set the stage for her senior colleagues to flourish.
Later in the innings, Jemimah played some lovely strokes and added 40 runs for the fourth wicket with Deepti Sharma. That stand, and some brisk batting at the death by Deepti, gave the host a total it could defend.
South Africa self-implodes
South Africa's chase of 141 got off to a dismal start as opener Lizelle Lee was run-out after a mix-up with Tazmin Brits.
Laura Wolvaardt managed to find boundaries amidst mounting pressure, but she was sent back Jemimah's superb running catch at backward-point in Radha's bowling.
Poonam then dismissed Nadine de Klerk and Mignon du Preez in consecutive deliveries and sent back skipper Sune Luus for a single-digit score as the visitor failed to recover.
Deepti removed struggling opener Tazmin Brits while Radha claimed the wicket of Shabnim Ismail as South Africa managed to reach 89/7 in 17 overs.
India Women 140/4 (Shafali Verma 46, Jemimah Rodrigues 33, Nadine de Klerk 2/24) beats South Africa Women 89/7 (Laura Wolvaardt 23, Poonam Yadav 3/13, Radha Yadav 2/16) by 51 runs. (Match reduced to 17 overs due to rain)
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