Indian women's skipper Mithali Raj, after the third ODI loss, reckoned that the team could have put up a better performance than they did with the bat besides terming Lizelle Lee's century a 'brilliant knock. South African skipper was also delighted with the way Lee batted for her 132*.
After a dominating performance from the Indian women's side in the second ODI in Lucknow, it was the South African team that turned up the heat today, as they won the third encounter by 6 runs (DLS method) to go 2-1 up in the five-match series. Despite some decent starts for the Indian batters, they failed to make it count and as a result, India made 248 on a flat wicket. It turned out to be a comfortable chase for the visitors after opener Lizelle Lee smashed an unbeaten 132* off 131 deliveries.
For India, opener Smriti Mandhana again got a start with 25 runs and so did Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur, who made 36 runs each but they failed to capitalize on their starts. As a result, India ended with a sub-par total. Losing skipper Mithali Raj, speaking in the post-match presentation, asserted that the team fell short with the bat.
"We could have done better with the bat. We need to work on our bowling too. Our bowlers were bowling on both sides of the wicket. But credit to Lee. She played a brilliant innings. Having a fielding coach definitely helps, those are the things that make the difference," Raj said in the post-match presentation, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
Laura Wolvaardt, who had to captain the side in the absence of Suné Luus, was delighted with the knock played by Lizelle Lee, which helped the tourists win the game quite comfortably.
"Incredible game to have my first game as captain. The way Lee batted was incredible to watch. I really enjoy batting with her and takes pressure off me as she is such an explosive batter," said Laura Wolvaardt.
Lee's 132 was also the fourth-highest score in an ODI chase. However, the Player of the Match, Lee, credited the bowlers for the win as she felt that India were on course to post a score of 300 runs.
"I am very happy with my performance but the credit should go to the bowlers. I thought India could have posted 300. A lot of my dismissals over my career have been caught, so I am working on keeping the ball along the ground," said Lee, as South Africa took a 2-1 series lead, going into the last leg of the series.