Smriti blames fielding for loss to South Africa

Lucknow, March 22

Losing the second T20 International from a strong position was a bitter pill to swallow, said India captain Smriti Mandhana, who blamed poor fielding for her side’s six-wicket defeat against South Africa on Sunday.

After losing the opening T20I, India had a chance to level the three-match T20I series as SA needed 19 runs from last 12 balls while chasing 159 to win.

But Harleen Deol conceded two fours in the penultimate over and Arundhati Reddy bowled a no ball when South Africa needed six from the final two balls as the visitors romped home off the last ball.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I thought 80% of it was our game but lost it in the end,” a disappointed Smriti said. “We have a lot to learn and the way we fielded, we didn’t deserve to win the game. We have to work on our fielding standards.”

She, however, had praise for the batters: “The way our batters batted was amazing to watch and to get us to a 150-plus total. A lot of positives but lot to learn as well. We have to pull our socks and we are practising hard.” — PTI

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