East London (South Africa), Feb 3 (IANS): A maiden T20I half-century from all-rounder Chloe Tryon helped South Africa cruise to a five-wicket victory over India in the final of the Women's T20I Tri-Series at Buffalo Park here.
Chloe blasted six fours and two sixes on her way to a career-best 57 not out off 32 deliveries for South Africa to successfully chase down India's score of 109/4 after Nonkululeko Mlaba's 2/16 led the charge with the ball.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, India were placed under immediate pressure by South Africa's effective opening spell with the ball that also saw Nonkululeko bamboozle opener Smriti Mandhana for a duck in the second over of the match.
The Proteas' excellent start in the field continued as they restricted the subcontinent side to just 19/1 in the powerplay before Nonkululeko picked up her second scalp of the game in the form of Jemimah Rodrigues (11) and was helped by clean stumping from Sinalo Jafta.
With a rebuild job on their hands, Harleen Deol (46) took responsibility with the bat, alongside skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (21), as the pair put on a vital 48-run stand for the third wicket before Deol helped push India into triple figures, ending on only 109/4 in their 20 overs on a slow pitch.
In company with Mlaba, Ayabonga Khaka (1-17) and captain Suné Luus (1-22) were the other South African bowlers to take wickets for the home side. In defence of 109/4, India's spinners, Deepti Sharma (1-19), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (1-25) and Sneh Rana (2-21), cleaned up South Africa's top three to leave the hosts reeling on 21/3 in seven overs.
Those wickets meant it was an early introduction for all-rounder Tryon, as the destructive batter played a leading role in three crucial partnerships with Sune (12), Annerie Dercksen (8) as well as a match-winning 47-run stand with Nadine de Klerk (17 not out).
With the score on 66/5 in the 14th over, Chloe and Nadine showed great composure and a steely resolve to take the game away from the visitors, spraying the ball to all parts of the stadium before the former dispatched a six over deep square leg to clinch the win with 12 balls to spare.
After an outstanding performance with the bat, Chloe was aptly named the Player of the Match while Deepti took the Player of the Series award after recording 59 runs with the bat and five wickets with the ball in the tri-series.
All attention now turns to the highly-anticipated ICC Women's T20 World Cup which will be held in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Paarl from February 10-26.
Brief scores: India 109/4 in 20 overs (Harleen Deol 46, Harmanpreet Kaur 21; Nonkululeko Mlaba 2-16, Ayabonga Khaka 1-17) lost to South Africa 113/5 in 18 overs (Chloe Tryon 57 not out, Nadine de Klerk 17 not out; Sneh Rana 2-21, Renuka Thakur 1-16) by five wickets