3rd T20I: Vastrakar’s 4/13, Mandhana’s unbeaten 54 set up India’s series-levelling win over SA | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Pacer Pooja Vastrakar delivered a career-best performance of 4/13 and Smriti Mandhana scored an unbeaten half-century, leading India to a 10-wicket victory over South Africa in the third and final women’s T20 International in Chennai on Tuesday. This win allowed India to level the series 1-1.
Radha Yadav contributed significantly with a bowling spell of 3/6 from her three overs, collapsing South Africa to a mere 84 runs in 17.1 overs after opting to bowl first.India then chased down the target of 85 runs, finishing at 88 for no loss in just 10.5 overs.
Mandhana and her opening partner Shafali Verma managed to stay unbeaten with scores of 54 and 27 respectively. Mandhana hit the winning runs with a six off Nadine de Klerk.

The win was the largest margin of victory for India against South Africa in this format, both in terms of wickets and balls to spare.
Mandhana showcased a brilliant performance towards the end of the run chase, smashing a six in the 10th over, followed by two fours and another maximum to quickly bring the contest to a close. This was her 24th T20I half-century.
During the powerplay, India managed 40 for no loss with South Africa rotating five bowlers, but none could break the partnership. Mandhana struck eight fours and two sixes from 40 balls, while Verma hit three fours from 25 deliveries.

Previously, South Africa had secured a win in the first match by 12 runs, and the second T20I was washed out due to rain on Saturday. In this game, only three South African players managed to score in double figures, with Tazmin Brits scoring 20 off 23 balls as their top performer.
Openers Laura Wolvaardt (9 off 9 balls) and Tazmin Brits managed a 19-run partnership for the first wicket. Shreyanka Patil dismissed Wolvaardt in the fourth over, and then Brits and Marizanne Kapp added another 11 runs for the second wicket.
Kapp fell in the fifth over, as she became Vastrakar’s 50th wicket in the format. Next to go for South Africa was Brits with Deepti Sharma grabbing her prized wicket in the eighth over, as the scoreboard read 45 for three.

The eighth over saw Chloe Tryon dropped by Deepti Sharma, continuing a series of poor fielding efforts by India throughout the contest. Despite that, South Africa struggled to build any meaningful partnerships, even though they had dominated the previous two outings with the bat.
The visitors lost two more wickets at the score of 61 in the 11th over, with Vastrakar exploiting the conditions skillfully. As the innings progressed, it became apparent the pitch was not favorable for batters due to spongy bounce and mild turn. Recent rains in Chennai had kept the pitch moist, aiding Vastrakar’s mild swing deliveries which troubled the South African batters.
Subsequently, South Africa’s innings spiraled downwards as they lost their remaining five wickets for just 23 runs. The Indian bowlers managed to maintain pressure throughout, leading to the eventual comprehensive victory.

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