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Cricket | Women

Mithali Raj © Gallo Images

India draw first blood in T20 series



India opener Mithali Raj scored an unbeaten 54 runs off 48 deliveries to lead the visitors to a seven-wicket victory over the Momentum Proteas in the first Women’s T20 international at Senwes Park on Tuesday.

They go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

The hosts, batting first after India won the toss, posted 164 for four with solid contributions coming from captain Dane van Niekerk (38 off 31 balls), Mignon du Preez (31 off 27) and Nadine de Klerk (23 off 25).

They were 130 for four after 18.4 overs when Chloe Tryon smashed a sensational and unbeaten 32 from just seven deliveries (4x6s, 2x4s).

She closed with the highest ever T20 international strike rate for an innings of 25 runs or more, batting at 457.14 and moving her team to a competitive total in the end.

Chasing 165 for the win, Raj spearheaded India’s reply, sharing partnerships of 69, 52 and 47 with Jemimah Rodrigues (37), Veda Krishnamurthy (37*) and Smriti Mandhana (28) respectively.

They hit a combined seven sixes and 16 fours, reaching their target with seven balls to spare.

South Africa struggled with the ball, with Moseline Daniels (1-16) and Van Niekerk (1/23) the only ones to strike.

Sune Luus accounted for the dismissal of visiting captain Harmanpreet Kaur, running her out without scoring just one ball after Mandhana fell in the fifth over.

Besides that, it was a tough day at the office with 12 runs extras conceded.

The series moves to East London where the second match will take place on Friday, 16 February at Buffalo Park.

Play starts at 1pm CAT (SA, GMT+2) with live streaming available on Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) YouTube channel.



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