PLAY CALLED OFF. What a shame! This had all the makings of an enthralling contest. At first look, it might seem as though South Africa were running away with the game. But, India clawed their way back with three wickets from as many overs. Who knows what could have happened after that? India’s top-order has been in fine form from the time they stepped in South African shores. The series is alive at 2-1 and India will be the more relived side here..over to the men’s game, if weather permits.

More updates coming in:


Update: It is still drizzling at Centurion but if the skies clear out now, India’s target will be 148 from 15 overs.

Update: India would need 148 in 15 overs after DLS, the broadcasters say. The target will be 109 runs if it’s a 10-over contest. For a five-over game, India would need 61 runs. What a daunting ask that could be! There is a little bit of a drizzle still and the play could resume anytime soon. It’s looking ominous for the visitors. Remember, the play has to be complete by 8.00 IST.

It looks like the skies is also clearing out. The question is, will overs be deducted and how many will India end up chasing?

Some good news:

In the meanwhile, here’s a breakdown of Harmanpreet Kaur’s six-hitting technique – Balance, bat-swing, precision

It continues to pour down heavily at Supersport park. The word going around is that this might be shorter than a 20-over-side contest.

Over 15.3, SA 130/3: Rain halts play at Centurion and it’s pelting down reasonably heavily. Harmanpreet had given away two runs from her first three balls, which included a wide. India will be the more relived outfit here. Or perhaps not, they got a wicket in each of the last three overs. It’s been carnage for much of the evening at Centurion.

End of over 14, SA 128/3: Lizelle Lee gets to her fifty with a single with a cut shot....make that two as India continue to err on the field. But, India chip in again after Sune Luus misses a sweep and the ball crashes onto her right pad. The umpire raises his finger after a convincing appeal from the Indians. That’s a triple-break for India.

But, there is more trouble for people sitting over the boundary ropes. And I am on copy-paste mode here: Lee steps out and smashes one. The ball goes miles over the longer rope. Six more.

End of over 14, SA 118/2: Another one goes and veteran Rumeli Dhar shows safe hands again. Poonam Yadav gets the wicket and it’s Tryon who departs. The all-rounder was trying for a big hoick over deep mid-wicket but the ball goes straight to the fielder. Lizelle Lee is far from finished, though, and she connects a sweep, which goes over cow cover fence, six more. More sloppy work on the field as Veda’s misfield allows the ball to roll into the boundary. She had put in the hard yards to get to the ball, but mistimes her dive and the ball bursts through her hands. C Tryon c Dhar b Yadav 2 (4)

End of over 13, SA 106/1: Van Niekerk gets to her fifty by stepping out and tonking a massive six over long on, easily clearing the longer boundary. Another boundary comes up after a short delivery was smashed down the ground to the boundary, easily beating the dive of long-on. And....caught. Dhar takes a simple catch at mid-off and that is the end of a solid, potentially match-winning half-century. It was a case of mistiming her pull on that occasion.

India may have more trouble is store as the big-hitting Chloe Tryon is promoted up the order. 13 and a wicket from the over. D Van Niekerk c Dhar b Sharma 55 (47)

End of over 12, SA 93/0: Harmanpreet brings herself on. She is running out of options and gets off to a reasonably good start. Just two singles from the first four balls. India had a hint of a chance in the fifth ball of the over as there was slight miscommunication from the two batters, but Lee manages to scamper home with a dive. Van Niekerk keeps strike with a single to long-on. Just four from it. Priceless under the circumstances.

End of over 11, SA 89/0: Lee steps out, six more. This is brilliant from Van Niekerk, who yet again has little trouble picking apart Gayakwad. She steps out and even though the delivery was short, hammers the ball down the ground. Lee also follows suit. This time, a rank bad delivery wide outside off-stump with no pace on it and Lee treats it with an astonishing flap over long-on, six more. No trouble rotating the strike either for the two batters and India are feeling the heat. More misfields. 16 from the over.

End of over 10, SA 73/0: Lee is now using her feet to combat Yadav’s flight. The boundaries keep coming. Here, Van Niekerk swivels vigorously to find the deep square-leg fence. She gets a single but is targeting the leg-side boundary. Yadav slows down the pace in the final delivery to earn a dot. Seven from the over. The Protea women have had an answer for everything India has thrown at them so far.

End of over 9, SA 66/0: Deepti Sharma is into the attack...and she starts with a wide. Lee and Van Niekerk scampered for a single from the second ball. Two dead balls as the bowler and the batter have a chuckle. That is followed by a loose, full delivery outside the off-stump. Lee has no trouble bashing the ball straight down the ground and it’s another six. Sharma finally gets her rhythm but India can’t stop the singles. 10 from the over.

End of over 8, SA 56/0: Harmanpreet now turns to Poonam Yadav, who picks up from where she left in the last game, flighting the ball and changing pace. The batters could manage only four singles from the over. A much needed breather for India, who have been under the cosh for the last few overs.

End of over 7, SA 52/0: The boundaries keep coming. This time from Van Niekerk’s blade. The South African captain continues to take a liking to the off-side. Dhar then turns to pitching the ball up, which cramps the batters for room. Fifty partnership comes up and it has only taken them 40 balls. The runs are coming thick and fast and it’s eight from Dhar’s over.

End of over 6, SA 44/0: Pooja comes back into the attack and Lee is in her groove now. A slog sweep goes over the short third-man fielder and rolls into the fence. Van Niekerk is also showing attacking intent, making room to beat the off-side fielders. Mixing her lengths impressively, Pooja makes a good comeback in the over. Six from the over as Mandhana’s full-length dive at cover saves a boundary. End of powerplay.

End of over 5, SA 39/0: Gayakwad is brought into the attack and she is treated to a boundary. Poor from the left-armer who gives Van Niekerk all the time in the world to rock back and pull one to the leg-side fence. More short deliveries and Lee gets into the act, first with a pull and then sweeps a huge six over deep mid-wicket. What a catch from the gentleman in the crowd. 15 from the over.

End of over 4, SA 24/0: Dhar struggles for length in the first delivery and the half-tracker is heaved on the leg-side by Van Niekerk, four. The ball hits Vastrakar’s hand and trickles to the boundary ropes. The India all-rounder needs some treatment as the ball smashed the lower part of the palm. Once again, Lee is content in getting off strike by running quick singles. Misfields are a problem and Poonam Yadav at short third-man allows the batters to cross over with a fumble. Lee keeps strike.

End of over 3, SA 17/0: A Little more intent shown by Van Niekerk and Lee, who run two quick singles from the first two deliveries. Pooja continues to maintain an outside off-stump line, varying her pace. Unfortunately, there are four leg-byes after the ball clips Van Niekerk’s pads and beats Bhatia behind the stumps. The South African captain keeps strike with a single to deep cover – she missed out there as there was a four for the taking.

End of over 2, SA 10/0: No sign of rustiness from Dhar, who is on target and is getting the ball to move away from the off-stump, with a hint of swing. Bhatia comes up to the stumps in the third delivery. Dhar, varying her pace well in each of her deliveries, outfoxes Van Niekerk, who gets off strike through a bye. The veteran pacer’s hard work is undone with a bad full toss, it’s a four and a free hit.

Mandhana drops a simple catch at long-on from the free-hit delivery and the batters run a single. Van Niekerk keeps strike. Eight from the over.

End of over 1, SA 2/0: Pooja Vastrakar starts proceedings. Lizelle Lee gets off strike straight away with a dab on the off-side. Van Niekerk is watchful and lets the second delivery run through to the keeper. The third delivery is full and the South African skipper plays a crisp cover-drive but is straight to the fielder. Pooja returns to bowling from a good length and Van Niekerk gets off strike in the fifth ball of the over. Lee doesn’t attempt to play a shot in the final delivery, which was low and wide outside the off-stump. Solid start for Pooja and India.

India’s lower-order have a point to prove. At least Mithali Raj thinks so.

Veteran all-rounder Rumela Dhar will be playing her first game since March 2012.

Two changes for India Rumeli Dhar comes in for Shikha Pandey, Anuja Patil makes way for Deepti Sharma. South Africa don’t disturb the winning combination.

Here are the playing XIs

India win the toss and to no one’s surprise, Haramanpreet has elected to field first.

Before the fourth T20I, a quick recap of where India went down in the third.
The 6 overs that cost India the 3rd T20I and why it was an ‘eye-opener’ for Harmanpreet & Co


India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Nuzhat Parveen Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Rumeli Dhar.

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Marizanne Kapp, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Sune Luus, Odine Kirsten, Mignon du Preez, Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Moseline Daniels.

Here’s our preview of the 4th T20I. Skipper Harmanpreet called the defeat an “eye-opening” one.

Hello and welcome to the live updates of the fourth T20I. Centurion is the setting to this contest. In emphatic fashion, hosts South Africa bounced back in Johannesburg on Sunday. Dane van Niekerk’s side were disciplined with the ball, especially in the back end of the innings, and played smart cricket while chasing the target down.

In the closing stages, all-rounder Chloe Tryon proved once again that she can clear any ground in the world on her day. Sune Luus, Van Niekerk and former skipper Mignon du Preez also made handy contributions with the bat. The star of the show was undoubtedly pacer Shabnim Ismail, who picked up five-wickets. That too, after being picked apart for 17 runs by Smriti Mandhana in her first over.

India have a lot riding on their top-order batters, considering how their lower-order capitulated. The pressure is on Shikha Pandey and Anuja Patil on to deliver with the ball – both of them endured a hammering in the last game.