Summary: 3rd ODI – India edge over South Africa in a low scoring thriller to seal 3-0 ODI Series Win

India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in what was a low scoring thriller at Baroda. India Women bowled out South Africa in the last ball of the 48th over when the Proteas Women required only 7 runs to win.

India Women vs South Africa Women
India clinch the series 3-0 against South Africa Women

The last match of the ODI series ended in an absolute thriller. India were bundled out on 146 courtesy a good bowling performance from South Africa. When one would have considered the target below par, India didn’t lose their calm and brought victory to their side in the final overs of the match.

The game started with India captain Mithali Raj winning the toss for her side and choosing to bat first. But the move didn’t go in favor of them as they lost wickets in pair. Ace bowler Shabnim Ismail was able to get Priya Punia out for a duck as wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty took a clean catch in the first over itself. In the next over, Jemimah Rodrigues got a leading edge while trying to hit on the onside and fell to a good catch by Lizelle Lee. Punam Raut and Mithali Raj tried to stabilize the innings but a loose shot by Raut rendered her clean bowled by Ayabonga Khaka. India seemed to be in real trouble when Mithali departed in the 17th over. India’s scorecard read 39/4 at that time.

Deepti Sharma and Taniya Bhatia failed to make an impact with the bat as the former was caught by Lee off Ismail and the latter stumped off South Africa captain Suné Luus.

Harmanpreet Kaur, the vice-captain then took the innings forward. Along with Shikha Pandey, she formed a partnership and added runs to the scoreboard. The match was at a turning point when Kaur was bowled by Marizanne Kapp; and after Shikha was caught by Khaka off Tumi Sekhukhune, the possibility that India could play out their allotted overs grew less. Kaur made 38 in 76 balls while Pandey scored 35 in 40 balls. The tailenders Mansi Joshi and Ekta Bisht lost their wickets to Nondumiso Shangase and Khaka as India got bowled out in the 46th over giving South Africa the target of 147 runs to chase in 50 overs.

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South Africa’s bowling was exceptional in the first innings. Their ground fielding was good too. Marizanne Kapp scalped 3 wickets – the important ones of Rodrigues, Mithali and Harmanpreet while Ismail and Khaka took a pair each. Sekhukhune, Shangase and Luus got one wicket apiece.

One would have expected South Africa to chase the target with a considerable number of overs remaining, but they had a similar story to tell. Lee fell to Joshi and Chetty to Bisht while Laura Wolvaardt and Mignon du Preez tried to control the innings. But a simple caught and bowled by Deepti Sharma and a debatable lbw by Rajeshwari Gayakwad made both of them out of the game. Suné Luus too couldn’t make the most of her stay in the middle as she handed a caught and bowled wicket to Bisht.

Marizanne Kapp was the only hope for the Proteas. 28 runs were required from 14 overs and she had enough time to lead her team to a victory in this match. But in the first ball of the next over, Deepti trapped Kapp lbw. And India saw a glimmer of hope there. After 40 overs, 25 runs were required from the remaining 10 overs. Shangase and Ismail were playing it safe and with 137/7 at one point with only 10 runs required, it seemed that South Africa would cruise to a consolation victory.

But one of the biggest twists of the game came at 45.4 over when a team catch by Joshi and Bisht took Shangase out of the game. South Africa needed 10 runs. India was searching for miraculous 2 wickets. And then Harman came to bowl.

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In the next few overs, Baroda saw absolute drama. After delivering a wide, Harman lured Ismail and she decided to go big, only to be caught by Raut’s safe pair of hands.
The situation was getting tense. Proteas needed 8 runs from 18 balls with only 1 wicket in hand. And captain Mithali Raj decided to go for the gamble. She handed the ball to known batter Jemimah Rodrigues who was bowling only for the second time in her ODI career. She bowls an array of dot balls and shifts the pressure onto the batters. And in the last ball of the over, she gets her maiden international wicket as Sekhukhune is caught by Sharma. Rodrigues gets the final wicket of the innings and runs straight to Kaur to give a massive hug.

The game was a thriller and the spectators of Baroda did enjoy it. India won the game by 6 runs and had a clean sweep over South Africa 3-0 in the ODI series. Ekta Bisht took 3 wickets while Deepti Sharma and Gayakwad took 2 each. Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues scalped one each.

India Women: 146 all out in 45.5 overs
South Africa Women: 140 all out in 48 overs
Result: India Women won by 6 runs
Player of the match: Ekta Bisht for her 6(9) and 10-1-32-3
Ambuja Cement Atoot Jodi of the match: Ekta Bisht and Rajeshwari Gayakwad for their combined 5 wickets
Dream 11 Game Changer award: Deepti Sharma for her wicket of Marizanne Kapp

PLAYER OF THE SERIES: Marizanne Kapp
SERIES STATUS: India Women won 3-0 over South Africa Women

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