Lucknow: Riding on Rajeshwari Gayakwad's bowling brilliant spell followed by Shafali Verma's batting master-class, India women thrashed South Africa by nine wickets in the third and final match here on Tuesday.
After being put into bat first, South Africa were straightway put under pressure as left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad dismissed Anne Bosch for a duck in the second over.
Gayakwad then snared the big wicket of opener Lizelle Lee, bowling her out for a 14-ball 12.
India’s onslaught continued as the Proteas lost wickets at regular intervals. Soon, the hosts employed another left-arm off-spinner in the form of Radha Yadav (1/24) from the other end.
Radha picked up her first wicket by dismissing Laura Wolvaardt for another duck of the match.
South Africa found themselves struggling after being reduced to 17/3 in 7 overs. Sune Luus and Faye Tunnicliffe were forced into damage control. Simran Bahadur (1/29) picked up her first international wicket as she rattled the stumps of Tunnicliffe, sending her back for 18.
Luus was joined by Nadine de Klerk on the crease but Gayakwad struck again as she uprooted the stumps of de Klerk (9). Luus' efforts of 28 in 25 balls were put to stop by Deepti Sharma (1/22) as she tried to pull the ball across the line but missing it completely, bowled.Lara Goodall and Sinola Jafta gave the hopes of a decent total to South Africa. Goodall made an unbeaten 25 off 17 balls while Jafta scored a quick 16 in 9 balls as South Africa were restricted by India to 112/7.
In reply, India came to all guns blazing as they chased down the target in 11 overs courtesy of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.The No 1 ICC Women's T20I batter, Shafali Verma, showcased her talents in the very first over as she thrashed Shabnam Ismail for 18 runs. Shafali and Mandhana made an opening stand of 96 runs in 51 balls.
Shafali registered her first half-century on home soil, making 60 runs off just 30 balls at a strike rate of 200. Her knock was studded with seven fours and five sixes.Mandhana smashed an unbeaten 28-ball 48 and with Harleen Deol (4*) guided India to a brilliant win.
Gayakwad received the Player of the Match award for her bowling figures of 3/9 in her 4 overs. While Verma was adjudged the Player of the Series for her 130 runs at an average of 43.3.
South Africa took home the trophy and the series 2-1.(UNI)