Mandhana, spinners smash South Africa to seal series win


India women 302 for 3 (Mandhana 135, Kaur 55*, Krishnamurthy 51*) beat South Africa women 124 (Lee 73, Poonam 4-24, Gayakwad 2-24) by 178 runs
Scorecard

Opener Smriti Mandhana smashed a career-best 135, and seamer Jhulan Goswami became the first bowler to 200 ODI wickets in women’s cricket, as India soared to a series win, with one match remaining, in Kimberley. In pursuit of 303, South Africa folded for 124, of which opener Lizelle Lee made 73 at a strike-rate of nearly 100. India’s spinners – legspinner Poonam Yadav, offspinner Deepti Sharma, and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad – returned combined figures of 19.5-2-72-8 to tear up the chase.

After being sent in, India had a positive start with Mandhana and Punam Raut putting on 56 for the first wicket in 12.3 overs. The stand ended when medium-pacer Masabata Klaas had Raut caught behind for 20. Captain Mithali Raj was also dismissed for 20, but Mandhana sustained India’s momentum and brought up a century off 116 balls. After reaching the landmark, she cranked into a higher gear, hitting Ayabonga Khaka for boundaries off five successive legal deliveries in the 43rd over. Two balls later, offspinner Raisibe Ntozakhe had Mandhana caught behind, but Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy ensured the visitors finished strongly by raising an unbroken 61-run stand for the fourth wicket off 40 balls. In the process, Kaur moved past Jaya Sharma to become the third-highest scorer for India women in ODI cricket.

Apart from new-ball bowler Marizanne Kapp and legspinner Dane van Niekerk, every other South Africa bowler leaked more than six runs an over. Conceding 21 extras – 20 through wides and no-balls – did not help South Africa’s cause.

Things only got worse for the hosts in the chase. Goswami made history when she dismissed Laura Wolvaardt in the fifth over. The spinners then ran through the rest of the batting line-up, with only Lee offering resistance. She contributed 59% of South Africa’s total. Barring the opener, Kapp was the only other South Africa batsman to reach double figures. Poonam wrapped up the 178-run win when she pinned Ntozakhe lbw and skittled South Africa in 30.5 overs.



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