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1st T20I (N), Chennai, July 05, 2024, South Africa Women tour of India
(20 ov, T:190) 177/4

SA Women won by 12 runs

Player Of The Match
81 (56)
Cricinfo's MVP
77.64 ptsImpact List

Brits and Kapp fifties help South Africa to their first victory of India tour

The hosts fell 12 runs short in Chennai and now trail the three-match T20I series 1-0

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Chloe Tryon is mobbed after removing Smriti Mandhana, India vs South Africa, 1st T20I, Chennai, July 5, 2024

South Africa lead the three match T20I series 1-0  •  BCCI

South Africa 189 for 4 (Brits 81, Kapp 57, Vastrakar 2-23) beat India 177 for 4 (Rodrigues 53*, Mandhana 46, de Klerk 1-30, Tryon 1-32, Mlaba 1-32) by 12 runs
After defeats in the ODI series and the one-off Test, South Africa began their run to the women's T20 World Cup with a morale-boosting victory over India in the first T20I in Chennai.
Starring in the win were Tazmin Brits, whose 81 - an innings of contrasts - set South Africa up along with Marizanne Kapp. The pair added 96 in just 9.2 overs; Kapp's own contribution was a robust 33-ball 57 as the visitors posted 189 for 4.
India's chase began well with Smriti Mandhana's 30-ball 46, but her wicket slowed things down considerably, until they found their ammunition through Jemimah Rodrigues' punchy 29-ball half-century.
Eventually, the target proved steep as South Africa's spinners used the slow pitch and the absence of dew to their advantage. In the end, India fell 12 runs short after flirting with the possibility of a heist when Rodrigues brought the equation down from 47 off 18 to 21 off six.

Wolvaardt flies, Brits stutters

Laura Wolvaardt came out all guns blazing and took Renuka Singh for 16 runs in the third over. But South Africa weren't able to build on that with Brits, at this point, struggling to hit the ball off the square.
Brits took 10 deliveries to get off the mark and the piling up of dots made Wolvaardt take more risks than she would've liked. One such stroke - walking across to expose all three stumps in a bid to sweep left-arm spinner Radha Yadav into acres of open space - led to her downfall in the eighth over to leave South Africa 50 for 1.

Kapp finds her gears straightaway

Kapp began with two fours off her first three balls, the first one, an inside-out drive over extra cover, particularly attractive. But she was also massively lucky to be reprieved twice in the 10th over.
First, Richa Ghosh failed to hang on to a catch behind the stumps when Kapp was on 11 and then Mandhana put down a tough chance running in from long-off with the South African allrounder on 11. This helped unleash Kapp, which reduced the pressure on Brits after she had limped to a run-a-ball 25 at the 10-over mark.
Fighting a back injury, Kapp had shelved her sweeps for large periods during the Test match between these two teams a few days ago. But in perhaps a sign that she was feeling heaps better, Kapp displayed different variations of her sweeps as her innings progressed - the full-blooded ones, the paddles, the scoops and even the reverse - during a 30-ball half-century that injected momentum into South Africa's innings.

Brits makes the most of her luck

Brits broke the shackles in the 11th over when she heaved legspinner S Asha over the long-on boundary, even as Kapp went berserk at the other end in their near-century stand.
Brits should've been out on 50 when she top-edged a slog, only for Ghosh to grass the opportunity. It would prove game-changing in a sense as Ghosh, who was hit on the chin by the ball rebounding off her gloves, while tumbling to the floor was ruled out of the rest of the game due to concussion.
It took Brits until the 17th over of the innings to hit top gear, when she launched Radha for back-to-back sixes to offset any pressure from Kapp's wicket in the same over. South Africa ransacked 58 runs off the last five to head into the break with momentum firmly with them.

India go off rails despite Mandhana, Rodrigues knocks

Mandhana's cameo helped India raise their half-century in the fifth over, before Ayabonga Khaka pulled the game back by nicking off Shafali Verma. That wicket slowed things down considerably as India's No. 3, D Hemalatha, struggled to cope with the pressure of the asking rate. She limped to 14 off 16 at the halfway mark.
This may have resulted in Mandhana's downfall as she left her crease against Chloe Tryon and got caught behind. When Hemalatha was bowled off the very next ball, looking to clip Nadine de Klerk, South Africa sensed an opportunity with India 87 for 3 in the 11th.
Rodrigues kept punching, using the crease superbly to manipulate the bowlers and pick up runs behind square against spin. Her enterprise offset Harmanpreet's struggle against cramps, which appeared to limit her hitting range. Yet, when she played a full-blooded slog for a boundary to bring the equation down to 17 off 5, India believed. However, it wasn't to be on the night as South Africa held their nerve to close out the game and seal their first win on tour.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
SA-W 100%
100%50%100%SA-W InningsIND-W Innings

Over 20 • IND-W 177/4

Harmanpreet Kaur st †Jafta b Mlaba 35 (29b 5x4 0x6 44m) SR: 120.68
SA Women won by 12 runs
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