Sune Luus © Getty Images
Sune Luus © Getty Images

South Africa women finally broke the shackles, and registered their first win — overall — versus India to stay alive in the ongoing five-match T20Is. Chasing 134, South Africa’s innings was held by Sune Luus and Chloe Tryon’s cameos. Indian spinners, in particular Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, held their nerves but the damage was long done courtesy India’s shabby middle and lower order performance.

Electing to bowl, the Eves were off to a pleasant start despite losing Mithali Raj (0). Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur took on the opposition, and ensured a healthy run-rate. Nonetheless, Shabnim Ismail’s 4-0-30-5 turned things around single-handedly. Shabnim’s first over leaked 17 runs, but she responded brilliantly from thereon. India, on the other hand, collapsed from 93 for 2 to 133 all-out in 17.5 overs. In fact, their last five wickets added only nine runs.

In reply, South Africa’s first wicket fell early. Pooja Vastrakar and Rajeshwari Gayakwad kept it tight. Poonam resorted to tossed up deliveries and slower ones, but Anuja’s expensive spell cost India dear. Sune and Tryon’s attacking innings led to change of script. They kept the scorecard ticking and went for the glory shots when the run-rate climbed up.

The series is still in India’s favour, leading 1-2 with two games to play.

Brief scores

India Women 133 in 17.5 overs (Smriti Mandhana 37, Harmanpreet Kaur 48, Veda Krishnamurthy 23; Shabnim Ismail 5 for 30) vs South Africa women 134 for 5 in 19 overs (Dane van Niekerk 26, Sune Luus 41, Chloe Tyron 34; Pooja Vastrakar 2 for 21) by 5 wickets.

Player of the Match: Shabnim Ismail