Women’s T20: Brits shines as SA clinch their first tour win

Chennai, (UNI) In a pulsating start to the T20I series at Chepauk here on Friday, Tazmin Brits’ masterful knock of 81 runs off 56 deliveries propelled South Africa to a hard-earned victory over India. Brits’ innings was the cornerstone of a thrilling contest that swung dramatically, offering gripping moments for fans of both teams.

India, tasked with chasing a formidable target of 190 on a batting-friendly pitch, began strongly courtesy of Smriti Mandhana’s explosive start, where she notched up 46 runs off 30 balls adorned with 7 boundaries and 2 sixes. However, the momentum ebbed as Dayalan Hemalatha struggled to find her rhythm, contributing 14 runs off 17 balls, allowing South Africa to seize control of the match.

South Africa initially faltered during the powerplay, conceding 61 runs, but regained momentum decisively during the middle overs. Their disciplined bowling restricted India to a mere 49 runs from overs 7 to 14, effectively turning the tide in their favor.

Despite a valiant effort by India in the final overs, needing 80 runs from the last six, captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s innings of 35 runs off 29 balls with 5 boundaries fell short of matching Jemimah Rodrigues’ earlier fireworks. Rodrigues remained unbeaten with a brisk 53 off 30 balls, comprising 7 boundaries and a towering six, but couldn’t prevent India’s defeat.

Earlier in the day, South Africa set a challenging target of 189 runs after being put into bat by Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. Laura Wolvaardt set the tempo with a rapid-fire 33 off 22 balls, providing South Africa a solid start despite Brits initially struggling at the crease. Brits, however, found her groove alongside Marizanne Kapp, who contributed a vital 57 off 33 balls.

The duo’s partnership of 96 runs for the second wicket steadied South Africa’s innings, guiding them to a substantial total. Kapp’s aggressive stroke play ensured South Africa maintained momentum throughout the middle overs, culminating in a competitive score.

Despite Brits’ departure late in the innings, Kapp’s determined presence saw South Africa finish strongly, navigating through the Indian bowlers till the final ball. Their collective efforts ensured a well-deserved victory in the series opener, setting the stage for an enthralling remainder of the series.

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