East London [South Africa], February 2 (ANI): Team India's unbeaten campaign in the Women's T20I ended abruptly as the Women in Blue suffered a 5-wicket defeat against South Africa in the series final here at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday.
In the final of Women's T20I Tri-Series, a sublime knock of unbeaten 57 runs from Chloe Tryon helped South Africa defeat India by 5 wickets to clinch the Women's T20I Tri-Series.
Tryon single-handedly took the game away from India with her blistering knock of 57 off 32 deliveries. For India, Sneh Rana bagged two wickets conceding just 21 runs while Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma claimed one wicket each.
India was undefeated in the tri-series heading into the final. Women in Blue had defeated South Africa in a modest-scoring contest by 27 runs in the series opener.
In the next match, they defeated West Indies by 56 runs and did better with the bat in a previous contest to post 167/2, with the fifties coming from Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
India won both their matches and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and emerging all-rounder Deepti Sharma have been among the strongest performers during those two matches.
Kaur hit an unbeaten 56* from just 35 deliveries against the West Indie in their third match of the series in a commanding India victory and the in-form skipper was duly rewarded by jumping three places to 11th overall on the list for T20I batters.
Their next match against South Africa could not produce a result as the rain gods did not allow any further action two balls into the match. In their final match, they defeated Windies by eight wickets, chasing down a target of 95.
In their fourth match of the series, Deepti Sharma's three-wicket haul followed by Jemimah Rodrigues' unbeaten gritty 42 powered India to an 8-wicket win over West Indies in the ongoing Women's T20I Tri-Series here at Buffalo Park in East London on Monday.
Rodrigues scored the highest for India with an unbeaten 42 off 39 deliveries while skipper Harmanpreet Kaur played a knock of 32 runs in 23 deliveries. For West Indies, Shamilia Connell and Hayley Matthews bagged one wicket respectively.
India's bowling was a plus point in the series as they often reduced their opponents to low scores consistently. But their tendency to succumb to the pressure of big matches was once again evident in finals. Their batters could not perform as per expectations and could only post 109/4. Though the bowlers gave a good fight to take five South African scalps, there was not enough runs on the board.
Deepti Sharma was a star for India, clinching the 'Player of the Series' award. She contributed scores of 33 and 16* in the series and ended up as the highest wicket-taker with nine scalps in five games at an economy of 5.56, with best bowling figures of 3/11.
Harmanpreet Kaur (109 runs in three innings with a fifty at an average of 109) finished as second highest run scorer of the tournament.
But the form of Smriti Mandhana (86 runs in five innings with one fifty), and Jemimah Rodrigues (57 runs in 4 innings with a best of 42*) is a concern for India heading into the T20 Women's World Cup. (ANI)