Wolvaardt, Lee guide SA to historic series win against India

Indian women dished out a superb batting effort but their bowling colleagues failed to step up as South Africa women registered a series-clinching six-wicket win in a last ball thriller in the second T20 International

Laura Wolvaardt registered another match-winning performance as she took the fight to the Indian bowling attack down to the last ball.   -  Special Arrangement

It was not just a challenging target set by India that the South African women were chasing on Sunday night. They were chasing history too.

And they did it – off the last ball. They won the second T20I by six wickets to claim their first ever series against India in the format.

While poor fielding and catching made things easier for them, chasing 159 was indeed a creditable effort. Opener Lizelle Lee (70, 45b, 11x4, 1x6) and Laura Wolvaardt (53 not out, 39b, 7x4) were the architects of the chase.

As it happened: IND-W vs SA-W 2nd T20I highlights: Wolvaardt, Lee fifties power South Africa to historic series win

When the hard-hitting Lee, who was dropped twice, was dismissed by left-arm spinner Radha Yadav in the 16th over, India was back in it.

But, Wolvaardt showed nerves of steel to take her side home. Nine was needed off the 20th over, and one off the final delivery. The 21-year-old scampered home for a single to trigger celebrations in the South Africa dugout.


Shafali Verma (47) blasted six fours and two sixes in her 31-ball innings after skipper Smriti Mandhana (7) once again fell early.   -  Special Arrangement

Earlier, two 17-year-olds — opener Shafali Verma and No. 5 Richa Ghosh — produced quality batting at either end of the Indian innings to ensure that the vocal crowd had something to cheer about.

India had a poor start once again as skipper Smriti Mandhana edged a wide delivery from seamer Shabnim Ismail to the wicketkeeper. Harleen Deol, who had made her maiden international half-century just a day ago, was content to play second fiddle to the aggressive Shafali.

The teenaged opener hit the experienced Shabnim for three fours in her second over. Shafali then smashed seamer Nadine de Klerk straight over her head for a four before hitting her for a six.

READ: All-round Anneke stars as South Africa beats India by eight wickets in first T20I

Shafali (47 31b, 6x4, 2x6) added 79 for the second wicket with Harleen (31, 31b, 4x4) before she was bowled by left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba after missing the line completely.

However, Richa ensured that India finished with a flourish. Playing in only her fifth match, the Siliguri teenager’s superb timing and powerful shots saw her compile an unbeaten 26-ball 44 (8x4).

Shafali and Richa’s knocks were, however, not enough for India on this night.

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