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India Women ease to seven-wicket win in Potchefstroom T20I

Mithali Raj scored unbeaten 54 in the chase
Mithali Raj scored unbeaten 54 in the chase

India Women 168-3 (Raj 54no) beat
South Africa Women 164-4 (van Niekerk 38) by seven wickets
First Twenty20 International in Potchefstroom

Mithali Raj scored an unbeaten half-century as India Women chased down 165 runs in 18.5 overs with seven wickets in hand in the first Twenty20 International in Potchefstroom to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Smriti Mandhana (28) started the chase with a bang hitting Marizanne Kapp (0-32) for three fours and a six in the first over and Mithali (54 not out) hit two sixes in the fourth over as India raced to 45 for naught in the first four overs.

The visitors' momentum was dented in the fifth over when Moseline Daniels (1-16) dismissed Mandhana and in the next delivery Harmanpreet Kaur (0) was run out by Sune Luus.

Jemimah Rodrigues (37) plundered 18 more runs in the final over of the powerplay as India reached 66 for two at the end of the powerplay and at the halfway mark, they reached 98 for two.

Dane van Niekerk (1-23) and Raisibe Ntozakhe (0-34) slowed down things and the pressure eventually got the better of Rodrigues, who was dismissed by the former. However, Veda Krishnamurthy (37 not out) and Raj ensured with their unbeaten 52 run stand saw the team through with the Indian skipper completing her half-century.

Earlier, India won the toss and decided to bowl first. Lizelle Lee (19), van Niekerk (38), Luus (18) and Mignon du Preez (31) all got starts but the runs came at a slower rate which meant South Africa were positioned at 129 for three in the 18 overs.

Chloe Tryon (32 not out) provided the much needed late flourish in the innings with her seven-ball cameo that saw her hit two boundaries and four sixes to lift the total to 164 for four in the 20 overs.

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