Mignon du Preez anchored the run-chase in brilliant fashion and her 90-run innings helped South Africa women secure a seven-wicket win – their only victory in the three-match series. While India secured four points for the ICC Women’s championship, the hosts managed to secure only two points.
After deciding to bat first, but unlike the first two matches of the series, Smriti Mandhana failed to get going as the experienced Shabnim Ismail, who made a comeback to the team after missing the first two matches due to injury, got her out for a duck. Mithali Raj also failed to score big for the second game running and when she was dismissed for 4, India
Deepti was calm and composed at one end and found hard-hitting Veda Krishnamurthy on the other end to give her perfect company for a late-order firework. Krishnamurthy instantly got going and hit the bowlers all around the park to bring up a quick half-century of her own before perishing to Raisibe Ntozakhe for 56. Shikha Pandey added an unbeaten 31 runs off 16 balls to give India impetus and as a result, the team not only crossed the 200-run mark but managed to post a decent total of 240 runs on the board.
For a team that was completely outplayed by the Indian women’s dominant performance throughout the tour, chasing 241 was always going to be a difficult affair and that was evident when Lizelle Lee gave Ekta Bisht an easy catch on a Shikha Pandey delivery. But Laura Wolvaardt tried to rebuild the innings, partnering Andrie Steyn, but the latter was caught and bowled by Poonam Yadav to bring the terrible memories of the first two ODIs back again.
Mignon du Preez’s arrival on the crease came as a breath of fresh air for the hosts as she started playing an attacking brand of cricket and gave Wolvaardt good company. The duo batted and plodded their way to take South Africa beyond the 150-run mark before Wolvaardt was dismissed for 59 off 88 balls. Skipper Dane van Niekerk came to the crease to display some exuberant stroke-play while du Preez slowed down a bit. But their calculative approach to the innings helped the hosts secure a seven-wicket victory at the end and their first win in the series as well.
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