India women vs South Africa women | Smriti Mandhana century guides India to 2-0 series lead

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India women vs South Africa women | Smriti Mandhana century guides India to 2-0 series lead

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SportsCafe Desk


India Women continued their stellar run on their tour of South Africa and secured a massive 178-run win over the hosts at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley after bundling the hosts out for 124 in 30.5 overs in a chase of 303. With this win, India picked up another two points in ICC Women's Championship.

Brief scores:India Women 302/3 (Smriti Mandhana 135, Harmanpreet Singh 55*; Sune Luss 1-31, Raisibe Ntozakhe 1-63) beat South Africa Women 124/10 (Lizelle Lee 73, Marizanne Kapp 17*;  Poonam Yadav 4/24, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/14) by 178 runs.

After being asked to bat first, India, unlike the first match at the same venue, got off to a brisk start with openers Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut putting on 51 runs in the first 10 overs. Medium pacer Masabata Klaas gave South Africa the breakthrough in the 13th over by dismissing Raut for 20, but Mandhana, who scored a half-century in the first match, upped the momentum of the innings once again. She was all set to get to a century and good support from her skipper Mithali Raj. However, Raj was not at her fluent best and was caught and bowled by Sune Luus for 20 when the team were on 107 in 23.2 overs and that opened a slight chance for the hosts to stop the run flow. 

But Mandhana continued her amazing stroke play in the company of Harmanpreet Kaur. The hard-hitting Sydney Thunder all-rounder started slowly but instantly picked up the pace with the help of regular singles and couples. Her innings helped Mandhana go for big shots and eventually she was successful in becoming the first women cricketer to score centuries in South Africa, Australia, and England. When she was dismissed by Raisibe Ntozakhe for 135, India were already in a very good position and it needed some late-order fireworks to build on the same. And that was provided Veda Krishnamurthy who scored an unbeaten 51 off 33 balls – an innings that comprised one six and six fours – to take India to 302/3 in 50 overs.

Chasing a target of 303 runs, South Africa were never really in the chase and were behind the required run-rate from the onset while losing their top order upfront. The hosts were reduced to 68 for 4 with Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav doing most of the damage. Skipper Dane van Niekerk resisted the Indian attack alongside opener Lizelle Lee for a while but failed to do so as Gayakwad trapped him for 7 and then it was hard for South Africa to make a game out of it. South Africa's run-rate slipped below the four-run mark while the required rate soared well over 8 at the moment.

Opener Lee was patient at the one end, but she didn’t find any partner to give her company and as a result, pressure took over and she fell to Deepti Sharma. Marizanne Kapp added a brisk 17, but that was all about what South Africa could come up with on the day as Poonam Yadav ran through the lower-order to end South Africa’s innings for 124 runs to give India a 178-run win and a 2-0 lead in the series.

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