Watch highlights of Shafali Verma’s innings (it was an innings of just highlights) here.
The first over by Shabnim Ismail went for 18 runs. Shafali Verma gave India the perfect start. Watch that over here.
Words of praise for Shafali Verman from Sune Luus: If she plays like she did, she’s hard to stop. She is going to be a legend of the game I think.
Smriti Mandhana: Shafali Verma stole the show, credit goes to the bowlers for this win. This will help us be with a positive mindset whenever we play next, in that context it was an important win for us.
Zenia D’Cunha: A one-sided match but a much-needed big win for India to wrap up the double-series loss Don’t quite know when they will play international cricket next but the learning from this India-South Africa series are many and vital.
Player of the series: Shafali Verma
Player of the match: Rajeshwari Gayakwad. That’s actually a laudable decision, would have been easy to give it to Shafali Verma.
Elsewhere in Pune: Prasaidh Krishna takes his fourth wicket as India win by 66 runs. What a turnaround for India! India vs England first ODI live updates here.
Shafali Verma 60 off 30 balls.
Smriti Mandhana 48 off 28 balls.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad: 4-1-9-3
And after all that, we wait to find out when they will play next
END OF MATCH: SA 112/7 in 20 overs, India 114/1 after 11 overs. The series might have been lost (and there might a sense of ‘what if’ in the Indian camp about the second match) but this is as emphatic a comeback as possible.
INDIA WIN! 114/1 in 11 overs as Mandhana finishes in style. She finishes unbeaten on 48. What a way to bounce back from the defeats over the weekend. That’s a sensational response. Terrific bowling effort, and a blistering batting display.
ICYMI: Shafali Verma in the batting powerplay: 4-6-0-4-0-4-0-4-0-0-0-0-6-0-0-0-6-0-6-4-1-4-0
India 99/1 after 9 overs: Mandhana 35 (22) and we have barely spoken about her!
WICKET! End of a sensational innings by Shafali Verma. 60 off 30 balls, SR 200, Fours 7, Sixes 5. Caught by Shabnim Ismail off Nondumiso Shangase. She had cleared the fielder there just a while back but could not do so in that instance.
HALF-CENTURY, SHAFALI VERMA! She gets there with a four off Sekhukhune.
IND 80/0 after 7 overs: Another over, more boundaries. This time Mandhana with a couple of brilliant shots through the offside off Shangase’s bowling.
IND: 71/0 after 6: WHAT A POWERPLAY FOR INDIA! A hat-trick of fours for Smriti Mandhana in the 5th over is followed by a boundary for Shafali Verma in the 6th. She put away a full toss but it is the pressure she put SA under.
India 64/0 after 5 overs: This is INCREDIBLE BATTING. Now Smriti Mandhana’s gets going with a hattrick of fours. And there is a boundary for Verma as well in that over. This is Shabnim Ismail we are talking about.
India 45/0 after 4 overs: In the last couple of overs, Shafali Verma has gone 6-0-0-0-6-0-6. 40 off 19 balls! Shafali Verma, ladies and gentlemen. What a player. One six in Sekhukhune’s over and two off de Klerk, all with straight bats. That is the best part. Just sensational ball striking.
India 25/0 after 2 overs: Not slowing down here, Shafali. Another boundary in that over, off de Klerk.
India 18/0 after 1 over: What do you say about Shafali Verma! The No. 1 T20I batter in the world is at it again. 4-6-0-4-0-4 to start off the run-chase. And that too off Shabnim Ismail’s bowling. Fearless! The six was such a clean hit over long on. The last four a bit streaky over the keeper but she has a smile on her face. Just enjoying her batting.
Shafali Verma, back as No 1 in T20Is, faces Shabnim Ismail...
India’s bowlers have done well to restrict South Africa to 112/7. Rajeshwari Gayakwad the star of the show with 4-1-9-3. Can Smriti Mandhana and Co chase this down?
End of innings, SA 112/7 after 20 overs: A solid finish for the visitors, 12 runs in the last over! Great credit to Lara Goodall (and Luus and Jafta earlier) to take SA to a decent total from 31/3 after 10 overs. But India will be happy with that bowling effort.
Radha Yadav to bowl the last over.
SA 100/7 after 19 overs: Arundhati Reddy bounces back from a tough night to finish with figures of 4-0-18-1. Great character.
Over 18.3 WICKET! A good late cameo by SA’s keeper-bat Sinalo Jafta comes to an end as she edges one to her counterpart Richa Ghosh. Arundhati Reddy with the wicket. SA 98/7 (18.3)
SA 95/6 after 18 overs: SA have actually done really well since the 10-over mark and that is great credit again to their development as a cricket side. Six runs from that Radha Yadav over.
SA 89/6 after 17 overs: A terrific over for SA! The lower order has barely been needed in this tour and now Lara Goodall and Keeper-bat Sinalo Jafta are putting on a late show. In that Bahadur over, 1-4-4-1-2-4. Two boundaries for Jafta and one for Goodall.
WICKET! NOW DEEPTI SHARMA STRIKES! The offspinner. joins the party! She is delighted because that is the big wicket of Sune Luus who was SA’s best batter tonight. Another batter playing across the line and bowled. SA 73/6 after 16 overs
SA 68/5 after 15 overs: Rajeshwari Gayakwad tonight: 4-1-9-3. What a spell. A boundary hit by Luus off her very last delivery as well, a top shot through cover. Otherwise it would have been even more ridiculous numbers.
14.3: WICKET! A brilliant night continues to get better for Rajeshwari Gayakwad! Her third wicket, in her fourth over and she has conceded just 4 so far. De Klerk bowled. And it is another arm ball.
SA 61/4 after 14 overs: There’s momentum for South Africa! (See what we did there?) Luus is leading from the front, two boundaries in that over bowled by Harleen Deol. A bowling change that didn’t quite go for India.
You can watch Deepti Sharma’s superb catch to dismiss Laura Wolvaardt here.
After 13 overs, SA 51/4: Another tidy over from Bahadur, just four runs off it. The 50 comes up for the visitors as Luus and de Klerk look to take their side close to or past 100.
SA after 12 overs 47/4: A boundary for SA captain Sune Luus in Deepti Sharma’s over. She has to do some heavy-lifting here.
Zenia D’Cunha: Simran Bahadur gets her first international wicket in the final T20I of the series It’s all coming together for India, and it’s a boost even in a dead rubber.
10.6: WICKET! A moment to remember for Simran Bahadur, her first international wicket. Tunnicliffe’s struggle in the middle is over. Straight from the medium pacer, an across the angle slog from the batter and it is timber! There was a much-needed boundary for the visitors in that over but short-lived moment of joy for the SA batter. SA 40/4 after 11 overs.
South Africa 31/3 after 10 overs: Better from SA in that over as the visitors rotated the strike at least. But it’s just all Indian spinners at the moment.
Zenia D’Cunha: What a start for India! Rajeshwari Gayakwad phenomenal in Powerplay with 2 wickets Radha Yadav continues her record run of T20I wicket-taking Deepti Sharma drops Lee but gets Wolvaardt with a superb catch.
SA 25/3 after 9 overs: It’s been a struggle for Tunnicliffe who’s batting 8 (27)/. The ball is stopping and turning, and the Indian spinners have kept things nice and simple, bowling stump to stump.
STAT: What a record this. Radha Yadav and Sophie Eccelestone on this list, are 20 years old and 21 years old respectively. Two terrific left-arm spinners.
WICKET! The big one of in-form Laura Wolvaardt. A superb catch by Deepti Sharma. And the record of at least one wicket in consecutive matches extends to 26 for Radha Yadav.
End of powerplay: Gayakwad’s bowling figures: 3-1-2-2. SA 15/2. That’s a dream start for India.
Over 5.4 WICKET! Rajeshwari Gayakwad again! Brilliant from the Indian spinner. Another delivery that goes with the arm, and it is the dangerous Lizelle Lee. Deepti Sharma must be relieved as well.
Zenia D’Cunha: India dropping Lizelle Lee has become far too frequent an occurrence this series. Or should I say India drop the South African opener Frequent-Lee?
SA 14/1 after 5 overs: DROPPED CATCH! Lizelle Lee is offered a reprieve. Again. Not for the first time in this tour of India, a sitter put down when she is batting. Deepti Sharma, one of the better fielders in the side, makes the error at midwicket. Reddy cannot believe it. Lee rubs salt with dropped catch.
Correction: SA 8/1 after 4 overs: Just 2 runs from Reddy’s over that is followed by another terrific over from Gayakwad. Her numbers in the powerplay here: 2 overs, 1 maiden, 1 over, 1 wicket. Top start!
SA 8/1 after 4 overs: Just 2 runs from Reddy’s over that is followed by another terrific over from Gayakwad. Her numbers in the powerplay here: 2 overs, 1 maiden, 1 over, 1 wicket. Top start!
SA 6/1 after 2 overs: Tunnicliffe, playing for the first time this series, is the new batter in.
Over 1.3: WICKET! Rajeshwari Gayakwad strikes early again. Back-to-back low scores for Anneke Bosch in this T20I series. Bowled! Trying to play against the turn, straightens enough to breach ehr defence. Good start for India. SA 6/1.
South Africa 5/0 after 1 over: A boundary past point for the in-form Lee in the first over. Otherwise good lines from Reddy. India need Lee’s wicket quickly to stand a chance of restricting SA.
Confirmation of playing XIs:
South Africa XI: L Lee, A Bosch, S Luus, L Wolvaardt, F Tunnicliffe, L Goodall, N de Klerk, S Jafta, S Ismail, N Shangase, T Sekhukhune
India XI: S Mandhana, S Verma, H Deol, J Rodrigues, R Ghosh, D Sharma, A Reddy, S Bahadur, R Yadav, R Gayakwad, A Soni
Arundhati Reddy starts off for India. Lizelle Lee and Anneke Bosch are opening the batting for the Proteas.
TEAM NEWS: India have handed a debut to Ayushi Soni, Richa Ghosh will be keeping wickets tonight. South Africa have made three changes as mentioned earlier.
TOSS NEWS: Smriti Mandhana is the captain for the third T20I as well. She’s won the toss today and India will be fielding first.
The second match was an absolute thriller even if it ended in heartbreak. Here’s a recap.
6.25 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live coverage of the third and final T20I between India and South Africa in Lucknow. We are at the end of South Africa’s visit and what a tour they have had. Can Harmanpreet Kaur / Smriti Mandhana and Co finish the series on a high?
That’s perhaps not the only question on many minds either. Enjoy this match tonight if you are a fan of the Indian women’s team because once again, we do not know what or when their next assignment is after tonight.
In better news, India opener Shafali Verma is back at the top of the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings after a fine show in the first two matches of the ongoing three-match series against South Africa in Lucknow. The 17-year-old big-hitter, who had grabbed the top position for the first time after helping her side reach the knockout phase of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last year in Australia, has leapfrogged Australia’s Beth Mooney with scores of 23 and 47.