Vadodara: Team India women registered a thrilling six-run win over South Africa in a low-scoring third ODI and clinched the three-match ODI series 3-0, here at Reliance Stadium on Monday.
After scoring just 146 runs in their first innings, India were able to defend a modest total by bowling out South Africa for 140 in 48 overs.Chasing a target of 147 for victory, the visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were never allowed to bat freely by the Indian bowlers.
Apart from Marizanne Kapp (29), captain Sune Luus (24) and Laura Wolvaardt (23), none of the other batswomen were able to contribute for South Africa.
Spinner Ekta Bisht, who was adjudged the Player of the Match, was the pick of the Indian bowlers, as she scalped three wickets, giving away just 32 runs from her 10 overs. She was well supported by Deepti Sharma (2/24 in 10) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/22 in 10).
Earlier, India were off to a disastrous start after winning the toss, losing openers Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrgues in the second over.
With the hosts struggling at 55 for five, Harmanpreet Singh steadied the innings with a 76-ball 38, with the other valuable contribution coming from Shikha Pandey (35 off 40).Most of the Indian batswomen, including captain Mithali Raj (11 off 46), failed to bat freely after getting settled, resulting in India scoring a below-par total.
In the end, even that proved to be enough against South Africa, who were on course for a comfortable win at 103 for five in the 30th over.However, India fought back through their spinners and even part timers Harmanpreet and Rodrgues did their bit by picking a wicket each. Rodrigues took the final wicket of the game to spark celebrations, which was also her first scalp in the international cricket.
India had won the first two matches by eight and six wickets, respectively.Brief scores: India Women 146/10 (Harmanpreet Kaur 38, Shikha Pandey 35; Marizanne Kapp 3/20) bt South Africa Women 140/10 (Marizanne Kapp 29, Sune Luus 24; Ekta Bisht 3/32) (UNI)