Women’s ODI: India snatch 4-run win over SA, win series | Crickit
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Women’s ODI: India snatch 4-run win over SA, win series

By, Chandigarh
Jun 19, 2024 11:02 PM IST

Centuries by Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet, Wolvaardt and Kapp made it a high-scoring second women’s ODI. India won series 2-0

India crushed South Africa by 143 runs in their opening women’s ODI match on Sunday and the manner in which the hosts dominated the first half on the second game, it seemed to shape up as another one-sided contest.

India Women's captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Vice-Captain Smriti Mandhana celebrate the dismissal of South Africa Women's Sune Luus during the 2nd ODI, at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday(BCCIWomen - X)
India Women's captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Vice-Captain Smriti Mandhana celebrate the dismissal of South Africa Women's Sune Luus during the 2nd ODI, at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday(BCCIWomen - X)

But Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed a sumptuous run feast on Wednesday. Two batters from either side hit centuries in a game that produced 646 runs. South Africa almost pulled off the chase before the hosts snatched a four-run win, taking an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

Smriti Mandhana extended her glorious form with a 120-ball 136 to follow up on her 117 in the first match at the venue. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur weighed in with an unbeaten 103 off 88 balls, leaving South Africa perhaps wondering if they had erred electing to bowl as India finished on 325/3.

It was Mandhana’s career-best ODI score as she surpassed the 135 she scored against the same opposition in 2018.

South Africa though staged a commendable comeback with captain Laura Wolvaardt (135* off 135b) and Marizanne Kapp (114 off 94b) nearly taking their team to victory. The chase saw see-saw moments. But with South Africa needing 11 runs in the final over, medium-pacer Pooja Vastrakar bowled brilliantly, taking two wickets and conceding just five runs.

Wolvaardt and Kapp had lifted their team from 67/4, adding 184 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership. When Kapp got out in the 43rd over, India tried to pile on the pressure, but Wolvaardt (12x4, 3x6) was in no mood to slow down. She kept hitting, although her team just fell short. With six needed off the last four deliveries Vastrakar had Nadine de Klerk caught for a 22-ball 28 and removed Nondumiso Shangase the next ball. A bye and a dot ball followed as South Africa finished on 321/6.

Mandhana (18x4, 2x6) and Harmanpreet (9x4, 2x6) shared in a 171-run third wicket stand off 136 balls. Carrying forward her fine form from leading Royal Challengers Bengaluru to the Women's Premier League (WPL) season 2 title, Mandhana became the first Indian batter to score two consecutive centuries in ODIs. Overall, it was her seventh century. She added to the joy of local fans as the 27-year-old bowled for the first time in ODIs and took a wicket, removing the experienced Sune Luus in the 16th over.

Harmanpreet cashed in to score her sixth ODI century, the latest one coming after a gap of almost two years.

“It is a great achievement for women’s cricket, to have nearly 650 runs in the game. South Africa played really well. While batting, we were up to the mark. Initially, when the ball was moving, both the openers did not throw their wickets. It made it easier later. We made some errors while bowling, we didn’t bowl according to the field,” Harmanpreet said after the match.

Wolvaardt said: “I am just extremely proud of the group for getting us to the position we did. At the halfway stage, it was easy to go into a shell with that huge total on the board. Kappie did so well to take the pressure off the group.

The final match will be played in Bengaluru on June 23. It will be followed by a one-off Test in Chennai and a three-game T20I series.

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