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The Times of India
The Times of India

Women's Tri-Series final: India score below-par 109 for 4 against SA

EAST LONDON: Harleen Deol scored a painstaking 46 off 56 balls on a slow track as Indian women found batting difficult, managing a paltry 109 for 4 against South Africa in the T20 Tri-series final on Thursday.

With stylish Smriti Mandhana dismissed for nought and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (21) also back in the dug-out just when she was getting set, Deol's effort was a below par one as she played a huge number of dot balls which increased the pressure on Deepti Sharma (16 not out off 14 balls), who also couldn't do much of the heavy-lifting.

Worse still, there was no effort from India to force the pace and Deol was happy playing the sheet anchor till she lost her wicket in the final over.

For South Africa, left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/16 in 4 overs) was brilliant in the Powerplay as a frustrated Mandhana was bowled having failed to open her account in previous seven deliveries. She charged down the track and played all over a delivery that disturbed the leg stump.

Other opener Jemimah Rodrigues (11 off 18 balls) and Deol couldn't get off the blocks against Mlaba and seasoned pacer Shabnim Ismail (0/9 in 3 overs).

In between the South African duo, they bowled 25 dot balls with India scoring only 19 runs in six Powerplay overs.

Both Rodrigues and Harmanpreet were out when they were beaten by an away turn from Mlaba and leg-spinner Sune Luus with keeper Sinalo Jafta effecting smart stumping.

The ball often didn't come on to the bat and the Indian batters didn't have requisite pace on deliveries to work with.

Such was their plight that the boundary count in 20 overs was not even in double digits. It was just nine. The total dot ball count was 57 (9.3 overs cumulatively) with the most consumed by Deol.

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