South Africa’s disappointment in India continued as the visitors failed to get the better of the opposition yet again on Thursday in the fifth T20I that was played at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, Surat. Winning the toss and electing to field first, the Women in Blue dwindled down the Proteas for a paltry 98-8 in 20 overs. Out of the eight wickets, seven were picked up by the Indian spinners with Radha Yadav leading the pack with 3-23 in her four overs. The South African batters got off to starts however failed to capitalize. Laura Wolvaardt top scored with 17.
Chasing a modest 99 was going to be a cake walk for the strong Indian batting line-up, but the visitors made sure that the Indians did not run away with the game easily. The South Africans kept picking wickets at regular intervals to unsettle Harmanpreet Kaur and co. Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the bowlers striking 2-19 in her four overs. In the end the Women in Blue sailed through winning the match by five wickets with 17 balls to spare. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur top scored with an unbeaten 34 that included some smooth hits to the fence.
India take an unassailable lead of 3-0 with one match to go. The sixth and the final T20I will be played at the same venue on Friday.
(Juili has represented Mumbai Women’s Team, she is an IIT’ian while also does Cricket Journalism)