South Africa Women beat India in T20I opener

South Africa takes the lead in the T20I series (Credit: @ProteasWomenCSA)

The first T20I between South Africa Women and India Women at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai saw the visitors prevail by 12 runs, marking their first win on this tour across formats. South Africa set a formidable target of 189 after being put into bat.


South Africa started strong, with captain Laura Wolvaardt scoring 33 off 22 balls, including three boundaries and two sixes, before falling to Radha Yadav. The standout performance came from Tazmin Brits, who made a splendid 81 off 56 deliveries, hitting 10 fours and three sixes. Marizanne Kapp provided crucial support with a quickfire 57 off 33 balls, contributing to a pivotal 96-run partnership with Brits. Chloe Tryon scored 12 off eight balls, helping South Africa post 189/4.


For India, Pooja Vastrakar and Radha were the pick of the bowlers, claiming two wickets apiece. Vastrakar conceded just 23 runs in her four overs, while Radha was more expensive, giving away 40 runs. Renuka Singh, Deepti Sharma, and Asha Sobhana struggled to contain the South African batters, with Renuka and Deepti going wicketless and conceding in excess of 10 runs per over.


In response, India got off to a promising start, with a 50-plus opening partnership inside the Powerplay. However, Ayabonga Khaka’s return in the sixth over led to Shafali Verma’s dismissal. Dayalan Hemalatha, striking at a run-a-ball, struggled to build momentum and it increased pressure on Smriti Mandhana. Tryon and Nadine de Klerk capitalised, taking crucial wickets in the 10th and 11th over.


Jemimah Rodrigues injected hope into the Indian chase with her boundary-studded innings, supported by Harmanpreet Kaur. The pair guided India to 143/3 after 17 overs. But De Klerk bowled a brilliant 18th over, conceding only eight runs. Then, Jemimah hit a couple of fours and a six, which left India needing 21 off the final over. Despite Harmanpreet hitting a four off the first ball, India’s chase fell short, finishing at 177/5.


South Africa’s decision to bowl a spinner in the final over paid off, as they took a 1-0 lead in the series. The visitors’ measured approach, led by Brits and Kapp, and disciplined bowling, particularly in the middle and death overs, proved decisive.