All-rounder Anneke Bosch first pegged the Indian women back with a couple of wickets and them smashed an unbeaten 66 off 48 balls to ensure an easy eight-wicket victory for South Africa in the first women’s T20 International, in Lucknow, on Saturday.
Harleen Deol's (52) confident maiden international fifty was the only silver lining for an otherwise lacklustre display by the Indians, who posted a modest 130 for 6 after being invited to bat.
The South Africans chased down the target, scoring 133 for 2, with five balls to spare. Opener Bosch (66 not out) and captain Sune Luus (43 off 49 balls) shared 90 runs for the second wicket.
The lack of power hitters proved costly for India as they scored just 26 runs from the last five overs.
The Indian bowlers never put any sort of pressure on the Bosch-Luus duo for a long stretch in the match as Bosch hit nine fours and a six in her 48-ball unbeaten innings after taking 2 for 11 during the Indian innings.
Poor fielding also cost India dear.
Earlier, rookie batter Deol top-scored with a confident 52 in India's 130 for six.
The 22-year-old Deol hit six fours in her 47-ball innings to score the bulk of India's runs after being invited to bat. She shared 60 runs for the third wicket with Jemimah Rodrigues (30) to help India recover from 11 for one after the fall of stand-in-captain Smriti Mandhana (11) in the second over.
Young talent Shafali Verma, who was not in the squad for the preceding ODI series which India lost 1-4, made 23 from 22 balls with the help of two fours and a six.
Mandhana, who was leading the side after Harmanpreet Kaur suffered a hip injury, hit two fours in the first over off N Mlaba but perished in the second over, offering a catch to Bosch at mid-off.
India were 41 for one after the powerplay and reached to 59 for 2 at the halfway mark.
Shafali, who was off the mark with a six in the second ball she faced, could not resist coming down the track but missed the ball completely to get stumped-out in the 10th over.
India took 13 runs from Sune Luus in 11th over with Deol hitting two fours.
Deol scored her maiden fifty off 44 balls.
But just as India looked to accelerate the innings, set batters Shafali and Rodrigues fell in the space of three balls in the 18th over and that put paid to India's hopes of posting a bigger total.
Both went for big hits but did not have enough power to clear the fielder.