Surat: Off-spinner Deepti Sharma showcased a career-best spell i.e. took three wickets and bowled the same number of maiden overs as India eves scripted a 11-run victory over South Africa.
The bowler earned the same in the first T20I of the five-match series at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Tuesday.
In front of a raucous crowd, and defending a modest target of 131, Deepti held her nerve superbly, starting with three consecutive maidens, and conceding only eight runs in the pivotal penultimate over of the chase.
Chasing a modest 131 for victory, South Africa were buoyed by Mignon du Preez’s gritty 43-ball 59 which kept them in the hunt. But Deepti’s three maidens strangled the visitors as they were bowled out for 119 in 19.5 overs to hand India 1-0 lead in the series. Player of the match Deepti ended with career-best figures of 3/8 from 4 overs.
The day belonged to Deepti, who first castled opener Tazmin Brits (3) and then had Nadine de Klerk caught behind by Taniya Bhatia in the same over. Shabnim Ismail, also caught behind, was Deepti’s third victim. Besides Deepti, Shikha (2/18), Poonam Yadav (2/25) and Radha Yadav (2/29) helped sink the Proteas ship.
Brief scores: India: 130/8 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 43; Shabnim Ismail 3/26); South Africa: 119 all out in 19.5 overs (Mignon du Preez 59, Deepti Sharma 3/8)