South Africa Clinch First Victory of India Tour with Brits and Kapp Fifties in The First T20I

South Africa beat the hosts by 12 runs in an exciting match in Chennai, in the first Twenty20 International, securing their first victory of the India tour.

With a strong total of 189 for 4, Tazmin Brits’ tenacious 81 and Marizanne Kapp’s aggressive 57 led South Africa to victory. India made a valiant effort to catch up, but they were unable to achieve their goal of 177 for 4, despite Jemimah Rodrigues’ quick half-century.

South Africa Clinch First Victory of India Tour with Brits and Kapp Fifties in The First T20I
Tazmin Brits scored 81(56). Photo Credit: BCCI

India 177 for 4 (Rodrigues 53*, Mandhana 46, de Klerk 1-30, Tryon 1-32, Mlaba 1-32) lost to South Africa 189 for 4 (Brits 81, Kapp 57, Vastrakar 2-23) by 12 runs.

South Africa started their journey to the women’s T20 World Cup with a confidence-boosting victory over India in the opening T20I in Chennai, following losses in the ODI series and the one-off Test.

Tazmin Brits and Marizanne Kapp were the main players in the victory, with their 81, an innings of contrasts, setting South Africa up. The two combined for 96 runs in just 9.2 overs; Kapp chipped in with a solid 33-ball 57 to help the visitors reach 189 for 4.

India’s chase got off to a good start thanks to a 30-ball 46 from Smriti Mandhana, but Jemimah Rodrigues’ potent 29-ball half-century slowed things down a lot.

In the end, the aim proved steep as South Africa’s spinners took advantage of the slow pitch and lack of dew. After threatening to pull off a heist when Rodrigues reduced the equation from 47 off 18 to 21 off six, India ultimately fell short by 12 runs.

In the third over, Laura Wolvaardt came out swinging and took Renuka Singh for sixteen runs. However, South Africa was unable to capitalize on that since the British were now having difficulty hitting the ball off the square.

The Brits needed ten deliveries to hit the mark, and Wolvaardt was forced to take more chances than she would have liked due to the mounting dots. One such stroke – stepping across to expose all three stumps in a bid to sweep left-arm spinner Radha Yadav into acres of open space – contributed to her collapse in the eighth over to leave South Africa 50 for 1.

Kapp opened with two fours off her first three balls, the first one, an inside-out drive over extra cover, particularly appealing. However, she was also quite fortunate to receive two reprieves in the tenth over.

When Kapp was on 11, Richa Ghosh first failed to hold on to a catch behind the wickets. Then, with the South African all-rounder on 11, Mandhana made a difficult run in from long off. This helped release Kapp, who had hobbled to a run-a-ball 25 at the 10-over stage, relieving some of the burden on the Brits.

During the Test match a few days ago between these two teams, Kapp had largely shelved her sweeps due to a back injury. However, Kapp showed many variants of her sweeps as her innings went on, including the full-blooded ones, the paddles, the scoops, and even the reverse, during a 30-ball half-century that gave South Africa’s innings impetus, possibly indicating that she was feeling a lot better.

While Kapp went crazy at the other end of their near-century stand, the Brits broke the chains in the eleventh over when she heaved legspinner S Asha over the long-on boundary.

When she top-edged a slog, the Brits ought to have been out on fifty, but Ghosh stole the chance. It would turn out to be somewhat of a game-changer when Ghosh, who was struck on her chin by the ball that rebounded off her gloves, was declared out of the remainder of the match with a concussion.

Also Read: Mandhana and Arundhati Lead India to 3-0 Sweep Victory Over South Africa

South Africa Clinch First Victory of India Tour with Brits and Kapp Fifties in The First T20I
Marizanne Kapp scored 57 of 33. Photo Credit: BCCI

The Brits didn’t find their best form until the 17th over of the innings, when she struck two consecutive sixes from Radha to counteract any pressure following Kapp’s wicket in that same over. South Africa had a lot of momentum going into the break after racking up 58 runs in the final five overs.

India reached their half-century mark in the fifth over thanks to a cameo from Mandhana, but Ayabonga Khaka’s nick of Shafali Verma gave India the victory back. Things moved quite slowly after that wicket because D Hemalatha, India’s third-best player, was unable to handle the pressure of the asking rate. At the halfway point, she hobbled to 14 off 16.

Mandhana may have fallen victim to this since she broke her crease against Chloe Tryon and was taken off guard. South Africa saw an opportunity when Hemalatha was bowled off the very next delivery while attempting to clip Nadine de Klerk, as India was only 87 for 3 in the eleventh over.

Rodrigues persisted in his punching, deftly manipulating the bowlers at the crease to score runs behind square against spin. Harmanpreet’s battle with cramping appeared to limit her hitting range, but her initiative made up for it. However, India was convinced when she engaged in a fierce battle for a boundary, reducing the equation to 17 off 5. It wasn’t to be, though, as South Africa persevered to win their first game of the tour and end the match.

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