It seemed to be an altogether different South African outfit that took the ground on Friday when they locked horns against India in a dead rubber at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, Surat. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, South Africa posted a mammoth total of 175-3 in 20 overs, riding on twin half centuries of the opening pair Lizelle Lee (84) and skipper Sune Luus (62). The pair stitched a match winning partnership of 144 against an unusually listless Indian bowling. Having sealed the series, team India decided to test their bench which meant giving rest to pace duo of Shikha Pandey and Pooja Vastrakar and spinner Radha Yadav. The South Africans made the most of the opportunity and handed one of the biggest defeats to the Women in Blue as they fell short of 105 runs.
In reply, India was cheaply bundled out for 70 in 17.3 overs, courtesy an extra ordinary bowling display from the Proteas. Veda Krishnamurthy (26) and Arundhati Reddy (22) were the only two batters to reach a double digit score. The rest of the otherwise formidable Indian batting faltered like a pack of cards. Nadine de Klerk was the standout bowler for South Africa as she struck with 3-18 in her four overs picking key wickets of Smriti Mandhana (5) and Deepti Sharma (2) apart from Arundhati Reddy.
South Africa concluded the six-match T20 series with grace as they managed a solitary win in the final outing. India won the series 3-1, with two games being washed out without a ball being bowled.
The two sides will now head to Vadodara for a three-match ODI series starting October 9.
(Juili has represented Mumbai Women’s Team, she is an IIT’ian while also does Cricket Journalism)