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India women suffer huge defeat in final T20I against Proteas; take home series by margin of 3-1

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

South Africa women 175 for 3 (Lee 84, Luus 62, Harmanpreet 1-5) beat India women 70 (Krishnamurthy 26, de Klerk 3-18, Shangase 2-0) by 105 runs

After struggling for three games, South Africa women finally found their mojo back and thrashed India women in the sixth and final T20I by 105 runs. Albeit, it was South Africa's consolation win of the tour but, they beautifully managed a way to hand host their biggest defeat by the margin of runs in T20Is.

Batting first, Lizelle Lee's fantastic 47-ball 84 and Captain Sune Luus's 56-ball 62 paved the way for South Africa's mammoth 175 runs total. Lee struck 15 fours and a solitary six whereas Luss played second fiddle to her in a 144 runs first wicket partnership. In response to 175, India women found struggling at 13 for 6 in first seven overs before Veda Krishnamurthy (26) and Arundhati Reddy's 49-runs stand saved them from an utter embarrassment. Still, South African seamers folded India for their second-lowest T20I total i.e. 70 runs.

With the series already in hand, India women came with three changes in the field. Arundhati Reddy, Mansi Joshi and Anuja Patil in the place of Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav respectively.

Cutting Deepti Sharma through the point position, Lee opened her and South Africa's account with four runs. Luus started Mansi Joshi's over with a leg-side boundary, and Lee ended with three successive fours - over the top, at long leg and one through extra cover.

Neither Lee nor Luus were holding it till the end. They just kept smashing Indian seamers or spinners, whoever came in their way. Nothing was working for the Indians at that moment. 57 runs from the first six overs already put India on the back seat.

Lee and Luus kept on marching at the same pace. A 27-ball fifty for Lee and 39-ball fifty for Sune Luus augured for a mammoth total from here. By the time Poonam Yadav foxed Lizelle Lee in the sixteenth over of the innings South Africa had already put 144 runs on the board. Some valuable runs from Mignon Du Preez and Nadine de Klerk, in the end, took the final total to 175/3.

In response, Shafali Verma started the Indian innings on a positive note with a lofted boundary over mid-on. Unfortunately, Shafali (4) was soon sent back to the pavilion by Shabnim Ismail on the very first ball of her next over. The drama didn't settle there; Ismail trapped Jemimah Rodrigues (0) on the front foot on the next ball and missed a hat-trick against Indian Captain, Harmanpreet Kaur who defended hat-trick ball carefully.

But, her stay in 100th T20I (only Indian Player to reach that milestone - man or woman) was just momentary as in the fourth over Harmanpreet (1) chopped Ayabonga Khaka on to her stumps. Two overs later, De Klerk sent Smriti Mandhana (5) and Deepti Sharma (2) back to the dugout on successive deliveries.

There was only hope who could save India from their lowest total on T20I. Krishnamurthy and Reddy assured India don't become the subject of tomorrow's headline.

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