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A collective effort to wrap up a memorable tour for the women in blue. ODI series - CHECK. T20I series - CHECK. A 3-1 win with three big margins of victory means India thoroughly deserved their win today and in the series. This, as Harsha Bhogle says, is a truly memorable day as the images of a happy Indian team that played fantastic cricket could well continue to inspire many a young girl to take up the sport.
On that note, it’s goodbye from us. Hope you enjoyed our coverage of the entire women’s tour. There’s more to come soon, stay tuned.
Dane van Niekerk says Indian bowlers were fantastic.
The Player of the Match for the third time is also Player of the Series - it’s Mithali Raj for her 3rd half-century in 4 matches. The only match India lost, the one she got out on a duck: “It was a decent track to bat on. The hard, bouncy tracks are good to bat on. It’s important to give a good start in the first six overs as an opener. Always good to be among runs!”
Harmanpreet Kaur: “I still believe we were 20 runs short, but our bowlers played well, this win will give us confidence to do well in the future”
SERIES SEALED: A historic double series win for India in South Africa! Win the ODI series 2-1 Win the T20I series 3-1
END OF THE MATCH - South Africa all out for 112: India win by 54 runs to complete a historic series win! Gayakwad gets two wickets off two balls to wrap things up for India. First Khaka, trying to go big over long on and finding the fielder in the deep. Off the next ball, Klaas tries to go down the track - misses the ball, is stumped smartly by Bhatia who has had a great game.
After 17 overs, SA 109/8 - JEMIMAH, TAKE A BOW! What a stunning catch. Kapp comes down the track and smashes Rumeli Dhar over square leg. The commentator called it - he called a six. But like an exit poll that comes back to bite a news agency, Jemimah Rodrigues takes a blinder at the boundary line. Timing her jump to absolute perfection.
After 16 overs, SA 106/7: Ismail is stumped off Yadav on 8 and India inch closer. A wrong ‘un to the leftie, she misses the line trying to come down the track & Bhatia makes no mistake behind the stumps. Klaas gets a streaky four but this is nowhere near enough for Proteas.
After 15 overs, SA 99/6 - 68 needed from 30 balls: Alright, then. You know what they say - it ain’t over till it’s over. 16 from that over Gayakwad as Kapp hits two sixes to keep her side in the hunt. Brilliant batting. Not trying to hit too hard - first one is lofted over long off, second is slog swept.
After 14 overs, SA 83/6: Going through the motions now, it feels like. Attempted big shots from Kapp and Ismail but the fielders have it covered. Harmanpreet brings herself on in the 14th over, concedes just 5.
SA need 84 off 36 balls.
After 12 overs, SA 75/6 - Tryon gone! That should be the game, and series, for India. The wily Rajeshwari Gayakwad provides the breakthrough that should seal the match as Tryon holes out to long off of a well-flighted delivery. Harmanpreet takes a neat catch.
After 11 overs, SA 69/5 - 92 needed from 54 balls: Another big over for SA and they need a few more of these. Rumeli concedes 12 to follow up Poonam’s over that went for 12 and it’s once again Tryon - this time a chip over long on.
After 10 overs, SA 56/5: Tryon - the ever-dangerous Chloe Tryon - is SA’s last hope really and she shows why as Poonam drops one short in the 10th over. Tryon rocks back and sends that one soaring over the ropes.
After 9 overs, SA 44/5 - Pandey strikes twice: Gets Mignon du Preez - who was looking to accelerate - to drive on the up off a slower ball, giving a simple catch to Raj on the edge of the inside circle. And then, in the same over, De Klerk is foxed by a full ball. She’s hit on the pads, there is an appeal for LBW but the ball trickles to the stumps and the bail is off.
After 7 overs, SA 33/3: Finally a good over for Proteas. Vastrakar concedes back-to-back boundaries as du Preez gets a move on. Pulls and cuts so well.
After 6 overs, SA 22/3 - RUMELI ON FIRE: That’s experience, folks! Knows South Africa are under the pump, big time. Knows Lizelle Lee will try to go big in the final over of the powerplay. Knows there’s a wicket there for the taking - a beautiful offcutter does the trick. Lee can only sky it to Poonam at short third.
After 5 overs, SA 18/2 - WHAT A START! Shikha Pandey makes it two wickets in two overs for India. Sune Luus tries to break the shackles - succeeds once by just clearing midoff for four, tries to play a similar shot to a full ball that swings in - she misses, Pandey hits.
After 4 overs, SA 13/1 - Rumeli Dhar strikes! The comeback after nearly 6 years has been capped with a wicket as well. Brilliant bowling in the first 3 overs meant the pressure was truly on SA and they had to try and go big - Dane van Niekerk gets a boundary off the first ball by lofting over midoff but can’t clear mid-on later - a good catch by Shikha!
After 3 overs, SA 6/0: Another tight over from Pooja, just 3 from that one. Pressure building on Proteas - you can see with the big shots they are trying to play without having to show much for it.
After 2 overs , SA 3/0: Shikha Pandey, who missed out in the last match, starts with a good over as well, conceding just three. Two loud appeals in that over - one for LBW off the first ball, but that swung past leg stumps, the other for a caught behind as Dane tried to squeeze one past the keeper, Bhatia took a fine catch - no review but replays show there was a definite edge. Some good fielding by the Indians so far.
After 1 over, SA 0/0: Pooja Vastrakar with the new ball and it’s a steady start from the seamer yet again who has been impressive in this series. It’s a maiden over to Lizelle for the second time in this series. Starts with a steady offstump channel.
End of India’s innings - India 166/4 after 20 overs: A good comeback from Kapp after conceding a six off the very first ball - in the slot and Harry loves it in that length, swings over long on once again. Kapp decides to keep it wide after that and concedes just 3 more singles. Veda is run out of the last ball going for a non-existent single.
95 from the last 10 overs is a brilliant effort by India.
After 19 overs, India 157/3 - Harmanpreet show is on! WHAT A HIT by the captain of the 5th ball. An overpitched ball in the arc is a strict no-no against Kaur - she brings out that massive batswing of hers, and clears the ground with ease. It’s an 80-meter six! 15 from that over that started off with a boundary to the fine leg.
Final over coming up...
After 18 overs, India 142/3: Just as we thought, Veda and Harman having difficulties getting the big shots away from the word go - India lucky to get 8 from the over by Ismail as Veda hits one towards fine leg, where the fielder fumbles.
After 17 overs, India 134/3 - Rodrigues out: Oh dear, this could prove costly for India. Two set batters out in the death and two new batters in - even if they are hitters like Veda and Harmanpreet, this is bound to put the brakes on scoring. Khaka concedes just 3 and takes the wicket in that over. Rodrigues skies a short ball as the bowlers takes a neat return catch. The youngster falls for a well-made 44.
After 16 overs, India 131/2 - Big runs but also the wicket of Mithali: A fine, fine innings by Mithali comes to an end as Raj falls for a fantastic 50-ball 62. Ismail strikes but not before conceding 15 in the first four balls of that over. Rodrigues crunches the length ball over long on for six, Raj cuts past point and drives over mid-on for boundaries before a bouncer is guided to the keeper as she tried the upper cut.
Harmanpreet walks out with the license to go big...
After 15 overs, India 115/1 - FIFTY FOR RAJ! Twelfth in T20Is and this has been quite the knock so far. Started off with six dot balls - in fact, dots have been frequent in her 46-ball knock but she has found the boundaries with alarming ease. 6 4s and 3 6s so far as Raj gets Two boundaries in that over - an edge past keeper and a pull past short fine leg.
After 14 overs, India 103/1 - 100 up for India: Jemimah is getting in the zone now. Van Niekerk drops one short, she rocks back, pulls between the two fielders in the deep for four. So much flourish in that shot.
Mithali moves on to 45 (out of which 34 have come in boundaries!)
After 13 overs, India 97/1: Jemimah Rodrigues showing her range! A classy four (chipped over the ring fielders on the offside) and a smashing six (bludgeoned over midwicket) gives them 13 runs in the Ntokhaze over.
After 12 overs, India 85/1 - 50-run partnership between Raj and Rodrigues: Mithali magic on show. Another clever lofted shot, another six. For all the talk about women’s game becoming a power game, Mithali is doing it the old-fashioned way with just sheer timing and placement. Her 3rd six in the 11th over. The 50-stand comes off only 43 balls, as the duo consolidate after the wicket of Mandhana. Good call to promote Jemimah, with Harmanpreet still to come.
There was a dropped catch by Lee (the keeper) in the 12th over - a sharp edge, put down. Rodrigues gets the reprieve.
After 10 overs, India 71/1 - 50 up and much more for India: This is now a solid partnership between the present and the future of Indian cricket. 14 runs from the 9th over followed by 8 from van Niekerk in the 10th as Mithali starts to up the ante. A six each in those two overs - first, lofted past long off, off Klass followed by a lofted drive over long on off van Niekerk. Jemimah chips in with a boundary straight down in the 9th over. Solid foundation this for India.
After 8 overs, India 49/1: A good over after the powerplay for India as Mithali looks like she is keen on taking the initiative off the final ball of Klaas’ first over - a full ball is driven past the bowler powerfully. Seven from that over. Dane van Niekerk hasn’t bowled too much on this tour, but she brings herself on to bowl those tricky leggies - almost gets Jemimah to mishit one to square leg. Falls short. Three from that over.
End of powerplay - India 39/1 after 6 overs: Interesting move to promote Jemimah up, perhaps in light of the collapse of the third ODI after Harmanpreet’s wicket. This way, the captain adds solidity to the middle.
After 5 overs, India 36/1 - Mandhana gone! Nine runs from the over but SA won’t mind that as the in-form Mandhana has walked back when she was looking in the mood for a good score. After a lofted off drive for four, she tries to heave Kapp over long on, skies it - but it looked like it would fall safe. BUT KLASS HAD OTHER IDEAS. Runs backward from mid-on, stretches her arms and clings on to it. BRILLIANT. Mithali gets a boundary past slip off the last ball.
Jemimah gets a promotion today...
After 4 overs, India 27/0: India dealing in boundaries when SA are not bowling extras. Shabnim Ismail, the five-wicket-haul still fresh in memory, replaces Khaka after the 12-ball over 8 runs off that over with fours, this time from Mithali Raj. The first was just a push past point but it raced away.
After 3 overs, India 19/0: Five dot balls from Kapp, as the pace spearhead pulls it back with her on-the-money bowling with just one loose delivery in the over that is square driven by Mandhana for four. There was one short ball that the deserved to be put away but Mandhana found the square leg fielder.
After 2 overs, India 15/0: Well, that was a never-ending over from Khaka! Perhaps a bit daunted by Mandhana’s ability to drive and cut anything on the off stump and fourth stump line, Khaka goes outside off - but way outside! SIX WIDES in that over and when the ball was in her zone, Mandhana was still able to drive one for four.
After 1 over, India 4/0: Four leg-byes are the only runs Kapp gives away in the first over While Raj survives an LBW call & a edge that doesn’t carry already. Raj was out in the final ball of a maiden over at the start of the third T20I, so in that sense - this is an improvement. 0 off 6 balls is nit the start the ODI captain would have wanted though.
The stylish Mandhana on strike at the other end...
04:40 pm: Out walk the players... we are all set. Kapp with the new ball, Mandhana & Raj to open for India
When Mithali Raj talks...
04:40 pm: It’s worth listening to the captain every time she talks about cricket. Recently she spoke about how this team boasts of multiple match-winners and where the scope for improvement is...
Read the interview here:
Still no start... but the good news is that rain has stopped and covers are off, according to Harsha Bhogle.
The story of Rumeli Dhar
04:20 pm: So Rumeli Dhar will be in action today. The 34-year-old veteran played for India after nearly six years and hers has been a journey of perseverance, self-belief and lesson in never giving up.
Read more here:
04:15 pm: “There’s a cloud cover, not sure how much it will affect the match in a T20,” says van Niekerk. “Would have definitely preferred to bowl first as we are playing an extra seamer,” says Harmanpreet Kaur.
Shikha Pandey comes in for Deepti Sharma. Ayabonga Khaka in for Moseline Daniels
04:10 pm: We await further news on teams and such with the broadcast set to begin shortly, but we’ll be surprised to see a on-time start with the covers on.
04:00 pm: South Africa have won a crucial toss and have opted to field at Newlands - reportedly some rain in the air! (Seems like bringing cricket to Newlands is a good solution to the drought in Cape Town!)
03:55 pm: India are perhaps a tad fortunate to be coming into this match without any pressure on them. Harmanpreet Kaur’s bowling attack was taken to the cleaners by South Africa in Centurion before rain stopped proceedings. The match was slowly but steadily slipping into unwinnable territory.
But today is a new day and a big chance at the Newlands for the women to seal a historic double.
Read our preview here:
03:50 pm: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the fifth and final women’s T20I between India and South Africa. It’s not technically a decider, because Harmanpreet Kaur and Co cannot lose the series, leading 2-1, but plenty at stake nonetheless. Promises to be a cracker!