Lizelle Lee smashed 84 and shared an opening partnership of 144 as South Africa ended the series on a high with a 105-run win. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
South Africa were boosted by fifties from Lizelle Lee and Sune Luus as they reached a good total. In their chase, India lost six wickets for 13 runs and they never recovered as the Women's Twenty20 International series ended on a wrong note for India with a 105-run loss in the sixth and final Twenty20 International at the Lalabhai Contractor stadium in Surat. The catastrophic collapse and the loss though was an aberation as India won the series 3-1 after two matches were abandoned due to rain.
South Africa chose to bat and for the first time in the series, they were given a great start by Luus and Lee as they tackled the spinners well. Both players found the boundary at regular intervals but it was Lee who signalled her intent with three consecutive fours off Mansi Joshi. Lee continued the onslaught with two boundaries off Anuja Patil whole Luus smashed two boundaries off Deepti Sharma as South Africa scored at close to 10 runs an over.
Lee notched up her fiftu with two boundaries off Arundhati Reddy and she raised the tempo by smashing a six off Poonam Yadav. Mansi Joshi continued to bear plenty of punishment as both batters took full toll when the death overs approached. The 144-run stand was broken when Poonam Yadav got rid of Lee for 84 but Mignon du Preez got going with two fours.
Although Luus (62) and du Preez (13) fell in quick succession, South Africa notched up 175/3, with the 144-run opening stand becoming the best for South Africa against India in the format. In response, India started disastrously with Shabnim Ismail, Nadine de Klerk and Ayabonga Khaka reducing India to 13/6. Veda Krishnamurthy and Arundhati Reddy staged a mini recovery but they only delayed the inevitable. With both players falling in quick succession India capitulated and lost by 105 runs.
This was India's worst loss in Twenty20 Internationals in terms of runs and they will now be determined to build on their good show ahead of the three-match ODI series which will begin on October 9 at the Reliance stadium in Vadodara. The next two games will take place on October 11 and October 14 at the same venue.