IND v SA Women's 1st T20I: Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma shines for India
Right before the energetic crowd of Surat, Indian women defeated South Africa on Tuesday in the first of the five-match T20I series.
After put on to bat first, India struggled against the South African bowlers who were excellent with their line and length.
Debutant, Shafali Verma, survived only for four deliveries before being dismissed by Shabnim Ismail
Jemimah Rodrigues then joined Smriti Mandhana in the middle and the duo tried to build a partnership. While Smriti took the attacking route to make 21 off 16, Jemimah scored 19 off 25.
India was pushed to 58/3 before captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, and all-rounder, Deepti Sharma, joined hands for a 46-run stand.
Kaur entertained the crowd with 34-ball 43 and Deepti made 16 off 16.
In the end, the hosts reached 130 in their 20 overs with some help from the lower-order batters.
Ismail was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa, with three scalps.
Chasing a modest total, South Africa started well by scoring 18 runs in Pooja Vastrakar's over. However, the visitors had no answers for Deepti's bowling who grabbed three wickets in three overs, without giving a run.
Later, Deepti ended with the figures of 3/8 in her four overs and played a vital role in dismissing South Africa 11 runs short of India's total.
After reduced to 73-7, nobody would have expected to witness a fight from the visitors, but Mignon du Preez proved us all wrong.
The former South African captain took on the Indian bowlers and almost pulled it off for her side. Unfortunately, she had no support from other end.
She made 59 off 43 deliveries, and the knock had three sixes and four boundaries.
For India, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav and Poonam Yadav picked up two wickets each and complemented Deepti Sharma well.
The second match of the series will take place at the same venue on Thursday.
- Shafali Verma became the youngest Indian to feature in T20Is. She is also the second youngest Indian only after Gargi Banerji to play an international match.
- Deepti Sharma became only the second bowler overall (after Pakistan's Anam Amin) and the first Indian to bowl three maidens and pick up three wickets in same T20I innings.
- Taniya Bhatia made three stumpings in the match. She now moves to number five in the list of stumpings. She has a Dismissal per Innings rate as 1.312.
- For the first time, India had two teenagers batting at the top-order for the team in T20Is.
- Mignon du Preez who scored her first T20 fifty against India, scored three sixes for the first time in her international career.
- Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian to play fifty consecutive T20 matches.
Cover Image credits: BCCI