3rd ODI – Lizelle Lee’s Century powered South Africa to a 6 Runs Win in a Rain Interrupted Match

South Africa won the toss and elected to field first. With 4 changes on the South African side & India remaining unchanged, both teams eyed at taking a lead in the series, after the game was leveled 1-1 after the 2nd ODI.

 

Lizelle Lee's Century Helped SA take 2-1 Lead in ODI Series. PC: Twitter
Lizelle Lee’s Century Helped SA take 2-1 Lead in ODI Series. PC: Twitter

First Innings: Mithali Raj Completes 10,000 International Runs Milestone

To India’s disappointment, Jemimah Rodrigues was taken down by Shabnim Ismail for DUCK in the very first over of the match, and making it a wicket maiden at the end.

As Punam Raut entered, she hit 3 boundaries in the third over off Ismail’s ball, thereby managing to get a total of 16 runs in the over. Opener Smriti Mandhana kept playing within the bubble without moving away from the ball. Going steady for the next few overs, South Africa’s Ayabonga Khaka bowled a maiden 9th over as Indian batters kept defending her balls.

Smriti Mandhana’s timing has been top-notch. She pulled off 2 boundaries in the 10th over showcasing her landmark pull-shot. A couple of uppish strokes helped India to put 50 runs on the scoreboard, thereby raising a 50 runs partnership between Mandhana and Raut.

Soon, in the 12th over, Tumi Sekhukhune took Mandhana when she went on to hit the ball for an aerial shot and was caught on the deep square leg. India stood at 64-2 when Skipper Mithali Raj came in to bat at No. 3, looking to claim her 10,000 international runs with this match.

Pulling off a risky shot in the 19th over, Punam hit her 6th boundary off Ismail’s ball. The partnership kept sailing smoothly post Mandhana’s wicket and nearing the 10k mark, Mithali raj hit a boundary in the 23rd over. Punam Raut completed her 15th ODI half-century and but she didn’t celebrate much as she knew that she had to go very long.

Post her 50, Raut picked up the pace as she kept hitting the ball for the boundary. Mithali Raj joined the party too as she hit another boundary and rotating the strike very well. Both of them kept South Africans struggling for a wicket.

Hitting the ball away from the fine leg fielder, Mithali Raj hit another boundary, this time to Anne Bosch, and completed her milestone of 10,000 International runs!! The whole of Ekana stadium was pumped up with joy. Just when the celebrations had started, the skipper was taken down when she tried chipping the ball upon a low full-toss and was caught on mid-wicket. On one hand skipper Mithali Raj had completed her 10,001 international career runs and on the other hand, South Africa’s Anne Bosch had taken her maiden wicket, after having played 6 ODIs, in the form of the Indian Captain.

Starting the 29th over, Harmanpreet Kaur joined Punam to take India further in the game. After getting a half-century, Raut’s strike rate had increased as she took her score to 70*(98). After a great inning, when she wanted to go over the top, she was taken down by Marizanne Kapp at 77(108). India had lost their 4th wicket for 161 in the 34th over and Deepti Sharma joined Harmanpreet at the pitch.

A change of bat had worked in favor of Harman as she hit the first 6 for India, putting South Africa under pressure. Harman and Deepti led India to cross the 200-run mark on the scoreboard, giving a great kick-start to their partnership.

But it didn’t take much longer for South Africa to get Harmanpreet Kaur off the field. An amazing catch by Sekhukhune and probably one of the best by far, Harman was taken down for 36 and India stood at 221-5 after 45 overs. Keeper-batsman Sushma Verma joined Deepti on the field as they went on to end the innings putting up 248/5 on the scoreboard and posting a target of 249 in 50 overs for South Africa to chase.

Second Innings: Lizelle Lee’s Century Powered South Africa to a 2-1 Series Lead

21-year-old Laura Wolvaardt, stand-in captain of the team, taking the captaincy for the first time, and Lizelle Lee walked in to open the innings for South Africa.

Jhulan Goswami, with the ball, gave a good start to her side adding just one run to the first over. Both the openers looked forward to posting a good partnership score just like the 1st ODI, where they created a record taking the opening partnership to 169-the highest to date.

Mansi Joshi’s overs proved to be very expensive when she conceded 5 runs in a ball due to miss fielding, leading to a boundary for the over-throw, and 14 runs in the over. Deepti Sharma on her very first over knocked Laura Wolvaardt over, picking the first wicket and breaking the partnership. India got their breakthrough in the 10th over sending Laura back at 12(29) and leaving South Africa at 41-1.

Sune Luus missing the game, Lara Goodall was sent up the order at No. 3. Lizelle Lee achieved her well-compiled half-century in the 20th overtaking South Africa’s total to 77 at the loss on 1 wicket. This knock was Lizelle Lee’s

  • 20th ODI 50
  • Her 4th ODI 50 against India
  • Her 10th ODI 50 while chasing.

A change in the bowling lineup worked wonders for India as pacer Jhulan Goswami took Laura Goodall, picking up her first and the 2nd for the team. A wicket after 11 overs! Lara didn’t get her elevation right and was caught on mid-on by Harmanpreet Kaur as she walked out at 16(41). That very over was a wicket maiden for Jhulan Goswami.

But Lizelle Lee continued to be in really good form by hitting boundaries and adding runs to the board. This was possible because she was dropped on 79 by Goswami outside off stump on Poonam Yadav’s ball in the 30th over. With no wickets falling, Lee and du Preez completed a 50 run partnership in 60 balls. The second innings saw a lot of misfielding by the Indian side on the middle, the boundary, and behind the stumps.

Soon, Lee brought up her 100 with a huge six off Harman’s ball. A century off 97 balls, and what a huge achievement it was for the opener! An amazing innings for Lee as she constructed her century very well, hitting 13 fours and a six. With this feat, she achieved the following:

  • Her 3rd ODI international 100
  • Her first 100 against India
  • First South African to score 100 against India

3 runs short of bringing a 100 runs partnership, du Preez hit a poor shot in the air and was caught by Punam easily as Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked her first wicket. It was all on Lee to shape up the game as she was standing strong since the first ball of the innings.

Jhulan Goswami struck again & India was back in the game as she took Kapp for a duck. Skipper Mithali Raj got under the ball to depart Marizanne Kapp, leaving South Africa at 178-4. Making the game more intense, Deepti Sharma bowled a maiden 43rd over, building pressure in the death overs.

Just when everyone thought Lee had lost her form, she hit India for a six- getting close to the finish and taking South Africa’s tally to 200 runs. As the chances of the game being paused due to wind and rain increased, it was decided that the DLS method wasn’t possible as South Africa was 5 runs ahead of the par score.

As India needed to restrict South Africa, Lizelle Lee off few boundaries making Harman’s over expensive for India. Indian bowlers had struggled to pick wickets towards the end and shockingly, Poonam Yadav (10-0-51-0) conceded the most runs without taking a wicket in an ODI inning. The covers had come over, the play had stopped and South Africa was now 6 runs ahead of the par score. The weather conditions at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium made it difficult for both teams to continue. When the rain did not stop, South Africa was declared the winners as they beat India by 6 runs as per the D/L method.

Before the rain had interrupted the show, both the team scores stood as follows:

India- 248/5 (50 overs)

South Africa- 223/4 (46.3 overs)

Tumi Sekhukhune was declared as the ‘Kamaal ka player’ for her brilliant catch to take down Harmanpreet Kaur. Mignon du Preez was declared as the Game Changer of the Match for her 37(46) which included 2 fours and 1 six. Lizelle Lee was titled as the Player of the Match for her outstanding knock of 132*(131) hitting 16 fours and 2 sixes.

With this game, South Africa is leading the five-match series by 2-1 and the 4th ODI is scheduled on 14th March 2021 at 9 am IST.

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