Owing to the two matches of the tour getting washed off because of rain, the 4th T20I was played today. India found themselves on the winning side yet again as they triumphed by a massive margin of 60 runs versus the hapless South African team, thereby taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with one more match scheduled to be played on 4th January. In this encounter, India won the toss and decided to bat first. India had a rejig today trying fresh combinations ahead of the World Cup and experimenting with the experienced duo of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh sitting out which meant Shweta Sehrawat was back as skipper and the team saw the additions of Shabnam, G Trisha, Titas Sadhu, Hrishita Basu and Sonam Yadav among the few making their way into the playing 11.
Batting first, India posted a competitive 121/6. Shikha Shalot opened the batting with Shweta Sehrawat and they gave India a fine start. Losing Shweta Sehrawat for 24, Shikha Shalot batted with a lot of resilience and looked in good touch. Before G Trisha could get going, she was dismissed by Seshnie Naidu who got the better of her and tragedy struck India once again struck as Hurley Gala was run out by Karabo Meso for 1. Kayla Reyneke who has had a stellar tour so far jumped in on the action and in the same over got rid of Soniya Mendhiya for a duck. Although India was scoring at a healthy rate, they were 4 down and needed a firm partnership. That is when Shikha Shalot and Hrishita Basu batted with grit and helped India cross the 100 mark. Before they could accelerate more in the death overs, Jemma Botha got the wicket of Shalot and an untimely run out of Tithas Sadhu in the 18th over meant Hrishita Basu ended up with 20* and Archana Devi at 5 as India posted 121. Naidu with her 2 wickets besides Botha and Reyneke at 1 were impressive.
South Africa was in to bat and showed absolutely no intent from the get-go as Simone Lourens was dismissed for a duck and in the same over Karabo Meso was out for 4 and the wickets were scalped by Tithas Sadhu in the same. EJ van Rensburg, the lone warrior in the South African batting was soon dismissed by Shabnam for 4 and South Africa was exhibiting all signs of a batting collapse as their scoreboard read 5/3 at the 2.3 overs mark with their top 3 back in the pavilion. Jenna Evans was run out by Sonia Mendhiya for her brief stay at the crease and with Oluhle Siyo’s dismissal by Hurley Gala, the writing on the wall that South Africa could not recover with 5 wickets down. Wickets kept tumbling as Seshnie Naidu was out for a two-ball duck and a 14-run cameo by Kayla Reyneke inspired confidence but her stay was shortlived as G Trisha dismissed her. Jemma Botha and Ayanda Hlubi tried stitching a partnership but they toiled at the expense of the Indian bowlers. Wickets around Hlubi kept falling and the run rate was soaring with Botha out for 11, and Moncho out for a duck; Hlubi too was run out which drew curtains on yet another disappointing batting display for South Africa as they ended on 61/10 in 19 overs. Tithas Sadhu and Soniya Mendhiya shone with 2 wickets apiece and with Shabnam, Gala, Archana and Trisha scalping a wicket each, it capped off a remarkable bowling effort for India.
4th T20 – India U19 won by 60 Runs.
Shikha Shalot scored 49 (40)
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 3, 2023
India already leads the series 3-0 and with one more match to go, they will look to experiment more and try out different combinations yet end the tour on a high with a win in the last and final T20I while South Africa would want to introspect and execute their strategies better with a home World Cup beckoning and not put up disappointing performances.
Brief Scores: India 121/6 (Shalot 49, Sehrawat 24; Naidu 2/29, Reyneke 1/11) defeated South Africa 61/10 (Reyneke 14, Hlubi 12; Sadhu 2/2, Mendhiya 2/4)
I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.