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Wednesday, 10 July 2024 11:21

Vastrakar stars as India square T20 series against Proteas Women.

By Neil Manthorp.

Indian seamer Pooja Vastrakar claimed 4-13 to help dismiss South Africa for a dismal 84 before openers Smriti Mandhana (54*) and Shafali Verma (27*) wrapped up a comprehensive 10-wicket victory in the third and final Women’s T20 International at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday to level the series at 1-1.

Mandhana and Verma made the most of a pressure-free run chase with an array of attacking strokes with Mandhana very much to the fore with eight fours and two sixes.

Marizanne Kapp (2-0-3-0) bowled her first two overs of the series and confirmed her importance to the team as an allrounder.

Earlier opener Tazmin Brits top-scored for the third consecutive match but this time with just 20 following a career-best 81 in the first game and 52 in the second.

Anneke Bosch (17) and Kapp (10) were the only other batters to reach double figures for South Africa after they were asked to bat first.

South Africa’s batters failed to adapt to a pitch being used for the third time and which was consequently much slower and more helpful to the spinners than it had been for the first two games.

The Proteas Women won the first match by 12 runs after posting a record score of 189-4 and registered another highly competitive total of 177-6 in the second match before it was washed out at the halfway stage.

But a series of mistimed drives and, in Kapp’s case, a miscued pull-shot against Vastrakar resulted in seven catches while Nadine de Klerk (0) was bowled by Vastrakar and Bosch trapped lbw by the same bowler.

Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav claimed remarkable figures of 3-1-6-3 to wrap up the tail in double quick time to give the hosts an excellent chance of squaring the series.

India won the ODI series 3-0 and the one-off test match by 10 wickets but the tourists, as expected, have proved to be far more effective in the shortest format.

India will contest the Asia Cup but this was South Africa’s last international cricket before the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October.

India: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Deepti Sharma, Uma Chetry (wkt), S Sajana, Pooja Vastrakar, Shreyanka Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav

South Africa: Laura Wolvaardt (captain), Tazmin Brits, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Anneke Bosch, Annerie Dercksen, Eliz-mari Marx, Sinalo Jafta (wkt), Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba.