Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 7 (ANI): Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt scored their respective half-centuries to help South Africa Women’s team thrash India by eight wickets in the first ODI on Sunday here at the Ekana Cricket Stadium.
With this, South Africa Women took a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
Chasing a target of 178 runs, South Africa got off to an impressive start, with openers Lee and Wolvaardt scoring regular boundaries. The duo proved to be too good for the hosts’ bowlers, who struggled to restrict the batters from scoring runs.
Lee and Wolvaardt continued their scintillating performance and took the team over the 100-run mark in the 26th over. Both showed no signs of a struggle and kept adding runs to the scoreboard, taking South Africa closer to the victory. Both completed their half-centuries in the process.
In the 38th over, Jhulan Goswami handed India the first breakthrough as she got hold of Wolvaardt (80). Sune Luus then came to bat but failed as Goswami dismissed her as well. However, the comeback was too late for the Indian side as South Africa easily got over the line in the 41st over.
Earlier, Mithali Raj top-scored with a knock of 50 runs as India posted a score of 177/9 in the allotted fifty overs against South Africa.
Put in to bat first, India got off to a bad start as the side lost its first two wickets with just 18 runs on the board. Smriti Mandhana (14) and Jemimah Rodrigues (1) both failed to leave a mark and the hosts were put on the backfoot.
Punam Raut (10) also failed to stay at the crease for a long time and this brought Mithali and Harmanpreet Kaur to the middle in the 14th over of the innings.
Mithali and Harmanpreet put on 62 runs for the fourth wicket and the partnership saw Harmanpreet scoring runs at a brisk pace. When India started to gain an upper hand, Sune Luus dismissed Harmanpreet (40) in the 26th over, reducing India to 102/4.
Deepti Sharma then joined Mithali in the middle and both batters started rebuilding the innings for the hosts. The ODI skipper Mithali brought up her 54th ODI fifty in the 38th over of the innings and India was looking to post a target in access of 225.
But as soon as Mithali got to her fifty, she was sent back to the pavilion by Shabnim Ismail in the 38th over of the innings and this brought an end to the 52-run stand between Mithali and Deepti. Soon after Deepti (27) was also dismissed and this reduced India to 155/6.
The lower-order of India was not able to provide much resistance and as a result, the hosts were able to post just a total of more than the 175-run mark in the allotted fifty overs.
Brief Scores: India Women 177/9 (Mithali Raj 50, Harmanpreet Kaur 40, Shabnim Ismail 3-28); South Africa Women 178/2 (Lizelle Lee 83*, Laura Wolvaardt 80; Jhulan Goswami 2-38). (ANI)