IND-W vs SA-W T20 2024: India lose opening match to South Africa despite Jemimah Rodrigues’ fighting fifty

The Indian women’s cricket team lost to South Africa by 12 runs in the first of the five-match women’s T20 2024 series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

Electing to field first after winning the toss, the Indian bowlers struggled to control the scoring as South Africa posted 189/4 in their 20 overs, courtesy of an explosive 81 from Tazmin Brits off 56 balls and Marizanne Kapp’s 57 off 33.

In reply, Smriti MandhanaJemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur helped India get close to the target but the hosts eventually managed 177/4 in 20 overs.

Earlier, South African women’s T20 captain Laura Wolvaardt (33 off 22) helped her side get off to a flying start, adding a 50-run opening partnership before being dismissed by left-arm spinner Radha Yadav in the eighth over.

Tazmin Brits had a sedate start at the other end, scoring just one run from her first 10 balls, before she switched gears after Wolvaardt’s exit and scored freely alongside Marizanne Kapp.

The Kapp-Brits duo put on a partnership of 96 runs from 56 balls before Kapp fell to Radha Yadav in the 17th over.

Tazmin Brits held the innings together till the end and was caught at long-on off Pooja Vastrakar’s bowling on the final ball of the innings.

Vastrakar, who also dismissed Chloe Tryon in the final over, was India’s most economical bowler, conceding only 23 runs in four overs.

Indian wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh suffered a concussion in the 16th over and was replaced by all-rounder Sajeevan Sajana ahead of the run chase.

With a huge target to chase, India’s opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma stitched a 56-run stand in just 32 balls before Verma (18) was dismissed by Ayabonga Khaka.

Mandhana (46 off 30) was caught behind on the bowling of Tryon in the 10th over and Dayalan Hemalatha fell soon after as India were left reeling at 87/3 halfway through the innings.

Indian T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues were unable to up the scoring rate.

Rodrigues, however, capitalised in the penultimate over with two fours and a six to notch her half-century. Her unbeaten 53 off 30 kept India in the hunt till the final over.

India needed 21 in the final over to win the contest. However, Mlaba held her nerve and conceded just eight runs, ensuring South Africa secured their first victory of the tour.

IND-W vs SA-W 1st T20 2024 brief scores: South Africa 189/4 in 20 overs (Tazmin Brits 81, Marizanne Kapp 57; Pooja Vastrakar 2/23) defeat India 177/4 in 20 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 53*, Smriti Mandhana 46; Chloe Tryon 1/32) by 12 runs.

The second India vs South Africa women’s T20 match will be played on Sunday in Chennai………

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