Indian women’s cricket team eye a rare double series win against SA

Vastavam web: An unbeatable 2-1 lead already in its grasp, the Indian women’s cricket team would look to extend its domination in the shortest format and achieve a rare double series win when it takes on South Africa in the fifth and final Twenty20 International here tomorrow.Having already won the three-match ODI series 2-1, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led team is 2-1 up in the five-match T20I series after rain washed out the fourth game in Centurion and the visitors would look to end the South Africa tour on a high.The visitors had fancied their chances in the fourth T20I but rain played spoilsport as the match was abandoned after South Africa were 130/3 in 15.3 overs.

A win tomorrow will make Harmanpreet and Co. the first Indian side to have won two series on a single tour of South Africa. It will also be a huge milestone after having won the T20 series in Australia.India dominated the proceedings in the first two T20Is before they were brought to earth by the hosts in third match and Harmanpreet have to ensure that there are no slip-ups tomorrow.V Krishnamurthy made an unbeaten 37 and 23 in the two opportunities she got to bat and she would look to stand up in case there is another collapse.

However, the onus would be on the top order — Mithali, Mandhana and Harmanpreet — to anchor the Indian innings tomorrow.In the bowling department, off-spinner Anuja Patil has produced a breakthrough for her team in the first three matches and emerged as the top wicket-taker for India with five scalps. However, she conceded 44 runs from her four overs in the third T20I and she would look to recover quickly tomorrow.

Spinner Poonam Yadav and young pacer Pooja Vastrakar too have done well with four wickets each so far. Pooja had to fill up the big boots of injured veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami and the 18-year-old has delivered so far, taking wickets in each of the first three matches.It was a superb performance by seamer Shabnim Ismail, who took her first T20I five-wicket haul, which helped them to keep the series alive. Among others, M Daniels and Klaas have taken three and two wickets respectively.

Opening the innings, skipper D van Niekerk produced some useful contributions but she failed to capitalise on the starts. However, in the last match, she and other opener Lizelle Lee blasted twin half-centuries to share a 103-run partnership and the duo will look to produce another good innings tomorrow.