A change of format could not bring a change in fortune for India. The poor run continued for the Women in Blue against a confident, efficient South Africa.
After being outplayed in the ODI series 4-1, the host was outplayed in the first T20I, going down by eight wickets at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium here on Saturday. It was another ruthless performance from the visiting side. Sune Luus’ team went past India’s modest score of 130 for six with ease. The chase was led by opener Anneke Bosch with a fine 66 not out (48b, 9×4, 1×6). Her second-wicket partnership of 90 with Luus (43, 49b, 5×4, 1×6) dashed the hopes of Smriti Mandhana’s side.
Earlier, Bosch had had a good time in the field too, as she took a fine catch and picked up two important wickets — Harleen Deol (52, 47b, 6×4) and Jemimah Rodrigues (30, 27b, 3×4), the top two scorers in the Indian innings.
The early loss of Smriti, who looked in good touch as she hit two successive fours in the opening over, meant that the hosts began on the wrong foot. The left-hander’s uppish shot over mid-off, off seamer Shabnim Ismail, was well taken by Bosch.
Harleen, promoted up the order, joined Shafali Verma (23, 22b) and added 45 for the second wicket. Though Harleen went on on to score her maiden international fifty, her effort was overshadowed by South Africa’s all-round show.