IND-W vs SA-W, 2nd T20I: Rain washes out encounter after Brits fifty helps South Africa post 177/6

South African captain Laura Wolvaardt has a go-to phrase – ‘Cricket’s a funny game.’ It was a sentiment that perfectly summed up the 2nd T20I between India and South Africa at the MAC Stadium here on Sunday.

Weather forecasts warned of heavy rain and thunderstorms coming the coastal city’s way. The drizzle that delayed proceedings by 15 minutes at the start of play would not have been strong enough to pause proceedings had play begun. Cricket is funny a game, until it isn’t.

India went in with four major tweaks to the lineup — Uma Chetry for a concussed Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil for Asha Sobhana, Arundhati Reddy for Renuka Singh, Sajeevan Sajana for D. Hemalatha. India would go on to give a better account of themselves on the field.

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Put in to bat, Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits got off to a fluent start, bringing up the team fifty in just the fifth over. Brits was questioned aplenty by Sajana in the second over. A stumping appeal which caught Brits well out of her crease spelt trouble for the opener but replays found debutant keeper Uma’s gloves slightly ahead of the wicket before collection. Brits survived.

Wolvaardt once again played chief aggressor, mauling Arundhati for 15 runs off her first over of the day. Pooja got the day’s first breakthrough, with the skipper holing out to Radha Yadav at point. Marizanne Kapp continued from where she left off in the first game, smacking two boundaries each off Radha and Pooja.

A spin choke on the runs by Deepti Sharma and Shreyanka Patil forced Kapp to try and go big off Deepti in the 9th over, but the ball went straight to Sajana at mid-off.

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Brits persisted, getting to her second fifty on the trot, a welcome flood of runs for someone working her way out of an injury layoff. There was redemption for Uma too as she stumped Brits off Deepti’s bowling the same way she did earlier in this game, except this time, the gloves were well behind the wicket. Radha Yadav caught Chloe Tryon off her own bowling soon after.

Anneke Bosch, who started slow a la Brits from the first game, and Nadine de Klerk then stepped up the scoring, with 33 runs coming off the next 18 balls. But the Proteas lost both batters in consecutive balls.

Annerie Dercksen was dropped by Jemimah Rodrigues by the ropes at deep midwicket in the last over and went on to plump up the Proteas score by 12 more runs to set India a 178-run target. Showers delayed India’s chase and eventually washed out the game leaving South Africa with a 1-0 series lead.

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