All-round Anneke Bosch, Shabnim Ismail headline South Africa’s clinical win
An all-round team performance headlined by Anneke Bosch and her 90-run partnership with Sune Luus helped South Africa go 1-0 up in the T20I series at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday (March 20). Bosch took two crucial wickets and then remained unbeaten on 66 to guide the visitors in the chase. Earlier, Shabnim Ismail took three wickets for 14 runs to restrict India to 130 for 6 despite an impressive fifty from Harleen Deol.
Put into bat, stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana got India off to the blocks quickly with a couple of boundaries through off Nonkululeko Mlaba in the opening over. But in an attempt to take on Ismail, she was caught brilliantly by mid-off by a diving Anneke Bosch for 11.
Deol, walking in at number three, took her time scoring only three of her first 11 boundaries. She then found a boundary through square-leg before adding two more fours in the next over off Nadine de Klerk. Big-hitting Shafali Verma at the other end, launched Mlaba over long-off for a six to get off the mark and an edge through fine-leg saw India finish the power play with 41 for 1 on the board.
However, in the tenth over Verma walked straight past a delivery from Mlaba to be stumped for 23 off 22. In the next over, Deol smashed Sune Luus between mid-on and mid-wicket for a boundary before hitting one through mid-on. She used her feet against Mlaba to collect another boundary over mid-on to take her score to 40.
At the other end, Rodrigues opened the face to caress Ismail to thirdman for a boundary and then played a falling pull shot through fine-leg off Luus to take India to 104 for 2 in 15 overs. Deol brought up her maiden international fifty from 44 with a single off Ayabonga Khaka. The pair added 60 runs for the third wicket from 48 balls.
Bosch dismissing Deol and Rodrigues in the space of three balls when both the players were caught by Ismail at long-on while trying to up the ante. From there India failed to hit anymore boundaries and were eventually finished at 130 for 6 from their 20 overs. India could score only 26 for 4 from the last five overs as Bosch and Ismail restricted the batters with tight lines.
For South Africa, Ismail was the most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 14 from her four overs, while Bosch picked up two wickets for 11.
In reply, Lizelle Lee was a given lifeline in the first over bowled by Arundhati Reddy with a miscommunication between Deepti Sharma and Mandhana resulting in a drop catch. But that didn’t cause India much as Reddy got the reward her tight spell when Lee hit one straight to debutant Simran Dil Bahadur at mid-on.
Luus played six dot balls before smashing Reddy for a six and a four in consecutive deliveries and helped South Africa finish the power play with 36 runs on the board. Post power play, the visitors didn’t let the spinners to settle down to a length as the Luus and Bosch stayed back at the crease to counter the lack of pace and played hard sweeps to fuller deliveries and cuts when they erred on length.
Bahadur, on debut, started well giving away only six runs from her first two overs, in between this Bosch slog swept Deol for a six over mid-wicket and Luus reduced the required target to 41 from 36 balls hitting two boundaries from Bahadur’s third over.
Another couple of boundaries from the next over bowled by Sharma brought South Africa’s 100, leaving them needing only 31 runs from last five overs.
However, Deol gave away only four runs from the next over and broke the partnership by dismissing Luus with a caught and bowled. Only five runs came from Bahadur’s final over. With 22 runs needed from 18, Bosch got South Africa eight runs from the 18th over with a mis-field from Richa Ghosh allowing a boundary.
Needing 14 from 12, Wolvaardt swatted Rajeshwari Gayakwad for a four before Bosch guided one through thirdman to take 12 runs from the over. Bosch finished the chase in style with another boundary in the first ball of the final over to remain not out on 66 off 48.
Brief Scores: India 130 for 6 in 20 overs (Harleen Deol 52, Jemimah Rodrigues 30; Shabnim Ismail 3/14) lost to South Africa 133/2 in 19.1 overs ( Anneke Bosch 66*, Sune Luus 43 ) by eight wickets. POTM: Anneke Bosch