Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, seamers hand India women their biggest defeat
South Africa women 175 for 3 (Lee 84, Luus 62, Harmanpreet 1-5) beat India women 70 (Krishnamurthy 26, de Klerk 3-18, Shangase 2-0) by 105 runs
Half-centuries by Lizelle Lee and Sune Luus gave South Africa women a consolation win in the sixth and final T20I of the series as they trounced India women by 105 runs, handing them their biggest defeat in the format.
Batting first, Lee led the way with a scintillating 47-ball 84, studded with 15 fours and a six, while Luus played second fiddle with 62 off 56 balls. The two added 144 for the first wicket and helped South Africa to 175 for 3. In response, India crumbled to 13 for 6 against the South Africa seamers before a 49-run stand between Veda Krishnamurthy and Arundhati Reddy saved them some embarrassment. Still, they could manage only 70, their second-lowest T20I total.
Earlier, with the series already in the pocket, India made three changes to their XI, leaving out Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav and Pooja Vastrakar and bringing in Mansi Joshi, Anuja Patil and Reddy.
Lee started by cutting the second ball of the match for four but it wasn't until the fourth over that the South Africa openers managed to take full advantage of the Powerplay. Luus started the fourth over of the innings - bowled by Joshi - with a four to deep midwicket before Lee hit three successive fours.
In the next two overs, both batsmen collected two fours each as South Africa raced away to 57 at the end of the Powerplay. Lee brought up her half-century - off just 28 balls - by cutting Reddy to the point boundary.
Lee showed her full range after reaching the landmark, by first scooping Reddy over the wicketkeeper's head and then dispatching a Poonam Yadav full toss over deep midwicket for a six, taking the side to 100 in the 12th over.
At the other end, Luus too reached her fifty, off 39 balls. Poonam eventually broke the stand when Lee top-edged a slog towards square leg where Shafali Verma held on to the catch running backwards. Mignon du Preez, promoted to No. 3, smashed the first two balls she faced for fours to make sure there was no relief for India.
Luus was eventually stumped off Harmanpreet Kaur in the 19th over but by then South Africa had already a formidable total on the board.
Shafali started the chase by lofting Shabnim Ismail down the ground for four in the first over but the fast bowler came back strongly by dismissing Shafali and Jemimah Rodrigues off successive balls in her next over. Harmanpreet, who had earlier become the first India player feature in 100 T20Is, survived the hat-trick ball but her stay too was short-lived. In the fourth over of the chase, the India captain chopped Ayabonga Khaka on to her stumps.
Smriti Mandhana and Deepti fell to Nadine de Klerk in the same over and suddenly India were staring down at their lowest T20I total. Krishnamurthy and Reddy ensured India avoided that but once their stand was broken, the last three wickets could add only eight runs.