India women 213 for 7 (Mandhana 84, Raj 45) beat South Africa women 125 (van Niekerk 41, Goswami 4-24, Pandey 3-23) by 88 runs
Smriti Mandhana‘s 98-ball 84 and fast bowlers Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey‘s combined returns of 7 for 47 in 17.2 overs, helped India open the new cycle of their ICC Women’s Championship campaign with a thumping 88-run win against South Africa in the first ODI in Kimberley. India climbed to fourth on the table after just one game, ahead of England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who have played three games apiece.
After electing to bat first, India made a strong start with a 55-run opening stand between Punam Raut and Mandhana in 90 balls. The game, though, was set up by a 99-run second-wicket stand between Mandhana and No. 3 Mithali Raj, who fell five runs short of her fifth fifty-plus score in the last 10 matches.
South Africa hit back with four wickets for 14 runs in the space of 39 balls. After Mandhana fell in the 35th over, India could only muster 59 runs in the last 87 balls. Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka claimed two wickets each.
India’s quicks then did irreparable damage to South Africa’s top order with three wickets in the first 10 overs. The hosts were quickly reduced to 57 for 5 before captain Dane van Niekerk and Kapp steadied the innings with a 37-run partnership. Pandey finished with 3 for 23, while Goswami cleaned up the tail to return figures of 4 for 24 as South Africa were bundled out for 125 in the 44th over.