Lucknow:South Africa Women registered a convincing five-wicket win over India Women in the final ODI, to seal the five-match series 4-1, here on Wednesday.
It was their South Africa's 10th victory in their last 11 ODIs and the result lifted them to No 2 in the ICC Women’s ODI Team Rankings.
India were asked to bat, and looked good to post a big total during a half-century partnership between captain Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. However, a collapse triggered by an injury thereafter helped South Africa back into the game as India were bundled out for 188.
India’s spinners then provided a glimmer of hope, but a calculated partnership from Anne Bosch and Mignon du Prez guided South Africa to a 4-1 series victory.
After being put in to bat first, India got off to a steady start, with openers Priya Punia and Smriti Mandhana putting away a couple of boundaries in the early overs.
However, Punia was dismissed Marianne Kapp in the sixth over, bringing in-form Punam Raut to the middle. Unfortunately for India, their woes continued as Raut was removed by Nondumiso Shangase. On the very next ball, the dangerous Mandhana followed her back to the pavilion.
At 53/3 in 12.1 overs, India were in trouble. But Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj combined to revive the innings.
They counter-attacked but just as their innings gathered momentum, Kaur retired hurt with hip-flexor injury and South Africa had an opening.
Thereafter, Mithali tried to anchor the innings, digging deep to bring up a 55th ODI half-century. She ground her way to 79 off 104 balls, but the rest of the line-up couldn’t provide adequate support.
India lost six wickets for 51 runs and were eventually bundled out for 188.
Despite that, India’s spinners gave them an opening early on.
In reply, South Africa got off to a rocky start with India spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad striking twice in successive overs, dismissing Laura Wolvaardt (0) and Lara Goodall (1). Dayalan Hemalatha then outfoxed South Africa captain Sune Luus as the visitors were 27/3.
From there on, Anne Bosch and Mignon du Prez came to South Africa’s rescue. The pair stitched a 104 run partnership to put South Africa in a commanding position.
During their partnership, Both batters completed their half-centuries but couldn’t finish the job as Bosch got out to debutant Challuru Pratyusha. Gayakwad kept India’s hopes alive soon after, picking up the wicket of du Prez.
However, it came too little too late for India as Nadine de Klerk and Kapp forged an unbroken partnership of 58 and eased South Africa to a memorable victory.(UNI)