Mithali, bowlers guide Indian eves to twin glory in South Africa

Cape Town [South Africa]:After opener Mithali Raj struck a quick-fire half-century, the Indian women’s cricket bowlers came to the fore to help their side defeat South Africa by 54 runs in the fifth and the final T20I to clinch the five-match series 3-1 here at Newlands Stadium on Saturday.

Chasing a respectable target of 166 runs, Indian bowlers ripped apart South Africa’s batting line up to bundle them out for 112 runs.

Chloe Tryon (25) and Marizanne Kapp (27) were the only two notable contributors for the hosts.

For India, Shikha Pandey was the pick of the bowlers as she finished with the brilliant figures of three for 16.

While Rumeli Dhar and Rajeshwari Gayakwad also bagged three wickets each, Poonam Yadav chipped in with a wicket.

Earlier, Mithali smashed a 50-ball 62 runs besides also joining forces with Jemimah Rodrigues (44 off 34 balls) to notch up 98-run partnership for the second wicket as the Indian women’s cricket team posted 166-4 in their stipulated 20 overs after being asked to bat first.

While India lost opener Smriti Mandhana cheaply for 13 runs, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur remained unbeaten on 27.

Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka and Shabnim Ismail all bagged a wicket each for South Africa.

Mithali was declared the `Woman of the Match` and the `Woman of the Series` for her impressive performance with the bat.

With the win, India have created history by winning two series in a single tour to South Africa for the first time ever

They had earlier clinched the three-match ODI series against South Africa 2-1.

India, who are currently leading the T20I series 2-1, could have achieved the feat on Wednesday, but the fourth T20I in Centurion was washed out due to rain.

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side have clinched the first two games convincingly — by seven and nine wickets respectively — but a five-wicket loss in the third match kept the series alive for the hosts.(ANI)