Shafali, Ghosh take India to 158-4 against South Africa in 2nd T20I

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Lucknow, Mar 21 (PTI) Opener Shafali Verma set the platform while Richa Ghosh provided the finishing touch as India Women posted a competitive 158 for 4 against South Africa Women in the second T20 International of the three-match series here on Sunday.

Shafali (47) blasted six fours and two sixes in her 31-ball innings and forged a 79-run partnership with Harleen Deol (31) to set the foundation for a good score in their must-win game.

Ghosh then provided the late charge with a 26-ball 44 not out to take India past 150-run mark.

For South Africa, Shabnim Ismail (1/31), Nonkululeko Mlaba (1/27), Nadine de Klerk (1/28) and Anne Bosch (1/26) were among the wickets.

Invited to bat, skipper Smriti Mandhana (7) once again fell early as she chased an outside delivery from Ismail only to edge it to the keeper in the second over.

Shafali, who looked watchful initially, smashed three fours in the fourth over to put the bowlers under pressure.

New batter Harleen Doel, who scored a fifty in the first T20I, sent Khaka across the backward point for her first boundary as India scored 31 for one in the first five overs.

Shafali then welcomed Nadine de Klerk with a straight hit across the fence before unleashing a massive heave for a six as India ended the powerplay at 41 for one.

Shafali got a life when she was dropped by Anne Bosch in the seventh over. Harleen then took Anne to the cleaners with back-to-back boundaries.

In the 10th over, both Shafali and Harleen scored a boundary each as Nadine de Klerk condeded 14 runs.

The India opener then sent N Mlaba for a six with a slog sweep but the bowler came back to clean her up in the last ball with Shafali looking for another slog in the leg-side.

Harleen too departed after she was caught by Ismail off Anne in the next over.

Ghosh smashed three fours, while Jemimah Rodrigues (16) hit one as India amassed 18 runs off the 14th over bowled by Sune Luus.

After Rodrigues departed, Ghosh slammed four more boundaries to take India to a competitive score. PTI ATK PDS PDS