Deepti Sharma spins India eves to 11-run win over South Africa
Deepti Sharma took three wickets and played the same number of maidens as India evoked an 11-run victory over South Africa in the first T20I of the five-game series at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium here on Tuesday.
Pursuing a modest target of 131 for victory, South Africa was driven by the Sandy 43 out of 43 balls of Mignon du Preez that kept them in the hunt. However, Deepti’s three maidens strangled the visitors when they collapsed by 119 in 19.5 overpasses to give India 1-0 in the series. The Deepti game player finished with the best figures of his 3/8 of 4 overs career.
Du Preez connected four-quarters and three sixes in his coup before being fired by half Shikha Pandey in the fourth installment of the final with the Proteas still 11 runs below the total of India. In the next delivery, Shikha got rid of N. Mlaba (0) to seal India’s victory.
However, the day belonged to Deepti, who first turned Tazmin Brits opener (3) and then had Tania Bhatia catch Nadine de Klerk at the same time. Shabnim Ismail, also trapped, was Deepti’s third victim. In addition to Deepti, Shikha (18/2), Poonam Yadav (25/2) and Radha Yadav (29/2), helped to sink the ship Proteas.
The South African captain, Sune Luus, put at-bat only in India. He could only score 130/8, riding captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s 34 43 balls, which includes three fours and two sixes.
The Smriti Mandhana opener scored 21, but the other batters did not have much joy as the Shabnim Ismail Runner returned the best 26/3 figures, supported by Klerk’s 19-year-old, who took two wickets and gave away only ten runs in two overs.
Shafali Verma, 15-years old boy of Haryana, he made his debut when he became the second-youngest player to represent India after Gargi Banerjee, and the youngest to play a T20I for the country.
However, Ismail interrupted his stay in the middle, as Shafali out by a fourth duck ball, caught by Tumi Sekhukhune in the middle.
Opening mate Mandhana looked good for her 16 21 balls before Nondumiso Shang caught him by du Preez at the point. Jemimah Rodrigues (19) and Deepti (16) contributed to some runs, but it was Harmanpreet who led the hosts to a total fight while the wickets continued to fall on the other end.
Brief scores: India: 130/8 in 20 envelopes (Harmanpreet Kaur 43; Shabnim Ismail 3/26); South Africa: 119 all in 19.5 overs (Mignon du Preez 59, Deepti Sharma 3/8)