Brits blitzes Proteas to perfect series start

TAZMIN Brits helped South Africa win their first of three T20Is against India in Chennai yesterday. | BackpagePix

TAZMIN Brits helped South Africa win their first of three T20Is against India in Chennai yesterday. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 6, 2024


THE PROTEAS Women got their first win of the tour after beating India by 12 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai yesterday.

South Africa lost the toss and were asked to bat first. Tazmin Brits shook off her early jitters and put on a match-winning partnership (of 96 off 59 balls) with Marizanne Kapp as the Proteas Women set India a target of 190 runs to win in 20 overs.

Laura Wolvaardt (33 off 22) and Brits (81 off 56, 4x10, 3x6) combined for a crucial opening stand of 50 off 44 balls with Wolvaardt the more fluent of the pair. Brits had to scrape through a tough start to her innings, but managed to hang on to her wicket.

Radha Yadav dismissed Wolvaardt, out bowled off her gloves, but that unleashed the dangerous Kapp (57 off 33, 4x8,1x6) who stamped her authority as she walked to the wicket. All cards were on deck, and a gorgeous chip over cover kicked things off as she signalled her intentions, and after having lost a wicket earlier in the over, South Africa still picked up nine runs.

Brits found her groove, and started to convert her strike rate to over 100 with runs coming from both ends as the partnership grew out of India’s control.

Kapp showed off her high quality stroke play and gained access to all parts of the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Her onslaught was ended by Yadav, but the damage was already done. Her elegance and ease in scoring runs enabled Brits to find her feet and see South Africa to a winning score of 189-4.

The opening pair of Shafali Verma (18) and Smriti Mandhana (46 off 30 balls, 4x7, 6x2) got India off to a good start within the powerplay. Their opening stand of 52 runs off 32 balls threatened to pull the game away from the Proteas. Ayabonga Khaka (1-39), returning after missing the one-off Test match, got the edge and the prized wicket of Verma, caught by Sinalo Jafta behind the stumps.

The in-form Mandhana looked to take on the returning Chloe Tryon (1-32) to keep in touch with the asking rate. Tryon, making her first start following a back injury, got a ball to pitch on a good length, and it nicked Mandhana’s outside edge, handing Jafta her second catch of the night.

Brits went off shortly after the powerplay due to a right lower leg contusion and took no further part in the second innings.

The Proteas women took a giant stride towards victory when Nadine de Klerk (1-30) clean bowled Dayalan Hemalatha for 14.

A late surge by Jemimah Rodrigues (53 off 30 balls, 4x7) and Harmanpreet Kaur (35 off 29) was not enough as South Africa won their first match of the tour.