4th ODI – South Africa creates history, defeats India by 7 Wickets to Claim ODI Series Win

With Laura Wolvaardt captaining the South African side again, and India making 2 changes to their side, that being Jhulan Goswami and Jemimah Rodrigues missing the game as Radha Yadav made her debut to ODI and Priya Punia made her debut to this series, both the teams aimed at winning the 4th ODI as South Africa won the toss and opted to field.

Lizelle Lee in action. PC: Cricket South Africa / Twitter
Lizelle Lee in action. PC: Cricket South Africa / Twitter

First Innings: India’s Punam Raut Scores a Magnificent 104*(123) Leaving South Africa to Chase a Total of 267

Going steady for the first 4 overs and hitting 2 boundaries to Shabnim’s over, Smriti Mandhana 10(16) was taken down by her as Lizelle Lee caught her on the slip in the 5th over and left India standing at 17-1. With Mandhana’s wicket, Ismail completed her 150 wickets in her ODI career. Right-handed batter Punam Raut walked in with Marizanne Kapp taking over the ball.

Just as the two had started for the first wicket partnership, a miscommunication between them in the 7th over could have been very expensive for India as Punam was very close to being run out. As Raut had almost completed the run, she had to go back to her place on strike as Punia hadn’t started running. Compromising for the 7th over, the duo hit 15 runs in the 10th over on Sekhukhune’s ball including few boundaries.

Utilizing the 12th over, Raut hit a boundary to bring 50 on the scorecard for India. Unstoppable Priya Punia kept hitting the bowlers for boundaries before she had to depart at 32(51). Just as she had set herself for a strong game, she hit the ball for to outside leg and the bounce took the top edge. The ball went flying high to a short fine leg as Ayabonga Khaka jumped to perfection to catch the ball putting in all her efforts. India was left at 61-2 in the 16th over when skipper Mithali Raj entered the crease. Raj, who completed 10,000 international career runs in the previous ODI, was just 26 runs away from completing 7000 ODI runs.

After Punia’s exit, India’s strike rate had fallen drastically as South Africa restricted them and they struggled to put runs on board. But the two managed to get a 50 runs partnership for the second wicket getting 51off 84 with Mithali Raj contributing 24(46) and Punam Raut contributing 26(37).

Mithali Raj hit a good long boundary to complete her 7000 ODI runs. The skipper had added yet another achievement to her list with this one. What legend she has been to the country and the game of cricket all over the world. (213 Matches- 7019 runs- 125* Best score- 54 fifties and 7 centuries.

Mithali Raj Completes 7000 ODI Runs

As people celebrated Raj’s 7000 ODI runs, Punam Raut hit two back-to-back boundaries to bring up her 16th ODI half-century as she completed 52 runs in this game. With 3 half-centuries in a row in this series, Raut proved how consistent she was with the bat. As the partnership had increased to 70 runs, both the players were back in form increasing the strike rate and adding important runs on the scoreboard.

Soon, the duo helped take India’s score to 151-2 and with India’s great batting, South Africa was forced to change the fielding-to restrict them. A great shot by Mithali Raj on a length laid a great platform for India and with this, the second wicket partnership was totaled to 100 runs! Great tactics by the Indian side.

Mithali moved across trying to hit the ball into the air and was dropped at 44 at mid-wicket as the ball didn’t find elevation. But it wasn’t long when she went for an aerial shot again in the next over and was taken down by Sekhukhune as Ismail caught the ball perfectly. South Africa had got the breakthrough that they were desperately looking for. Mithali Raj departed at 45(71) as she was replaced by Vice-Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and India stood at 164-3. Kaur took the score to 174 as she hit two boundaries in her very first over batting.

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India scored 42 runs in the first powerplay consisting of 10 overs whereas 46 runs were scored in the second powerplay within just 4 overs (36-40). Probably this was the result of something that the skipper told Kaur while she was exiting the field and stopped Kaur for few seconds to fill her in with some words!

Very quickly, Harmanpreet Kaur had moved to 25 in just 11 balls at the strike rate of 208.5, hitting 5 boundaries. Raut who was at 77 kept rotating strike to let Kaur continue her great form. Kaur was seen dealing only in boundaries, which helped India cross the 200-run mark.

As the two continued to maintain a great form, they completed their 50 runs partnership really quickly, taking India to 214-3. With 4 overs remaining for the first half to end, India was at 234-3 with Punam Raut at 93, nearing her century, and Harmanpreet Kaur nearing her half-century.

The duo dominated the game as Kaur hit the first six of the innings, thereby putting pressure on the South Africans in the death overs and completing her half-century with a single on the next ball. This was Kaur’s 12th ODI 50. With a boundary, by Harman, in the same over- India crossed the 250-run mark on the scoreboard.

Just as she had completed her 50, Sekhukhune bowled our Kaur for 54(35) leaving India at 252-4. With 3 overs remaining in the innings, all-rounder Deepti Sharma entered the crease. All eyes were on Punam Raut as she was batting at 98*. And soon, Raut completed her 3rd century in the same over with an easy single. Brilliant knock by Raut as she took her time and went easy on the ball getting her 100 off 119 balls! The whole of Ekana had pumped up with joy to applaud her efforts.

India ended their innings at 266-4 at the end of 50 overs with Punam Raut 104*(123) and Harmanpreet Kaur 54(35) top scoring.

Second Innings: South African Top Order Shines Bright as Indian Bowlers Struggle to Defend the Score.

Openers Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee have entered the crease intending to chase down the score and clinch the series. India looked forward to restricting the openers, especially Lizelle Lee who was the top scorer in the 3rd ODI scoring a century. Mansi Joshi opened the bowling for India as Jhulan Goswami missed the match due to an injury.

South Africa started the game great by putting 37 runs on the scoreboard in just 6 overs as India tried their best to restrict the visitors to score. But the duo was unstoppable as Lizelle Lee, just like in the previous matches, was in great form to take her side towards victory. Out of the 47 runs in 7 overs, 40 had come from 10 boundaries.

India’s efforts of defending the score were seen going into vain as South Africa went strong for the first 12 overs, putting 68 on the scoreboard without the loss of any wicket. India struggled to take the openers down as Lizelle Lee brought up her 20th half-century off 57 deliveries. Posting her 4th ODI 50 against India, Lee has proven to be a threat to India in this series. With that half-century, the openers posted a 100 runs partnership.

India finally broke the 116-run partnership when Harmanpreet Kaur sent Lizelle Lee for 69(75). It was a great moment for the team as they had taken a very crucial wicket. As Lee looked for a sweep shot, she ended up playing all around the ball and was wrapped in front of the off-stump. Right-hand bat Lara Goodall came in place of Lee to join Laura Wolvaardt.

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As the game continued, Skipper Laura Wolvaardt scored her 19th half-century off 70 deliveries. While all eyes were on Lee’s batting, Wolvaardt played a brilliant knock posting her 4th ODI 50 against India, and took South Africa’s score further.

Mansi Joshi came back into the attack in the 29th over when she opened her wicket bag to take down captain Laura Wolvaardt at 53(78). A big wicket for India and an important breakthrough. The change of pace after a long time of spin worked very well for India. Mansi bowled a full delivery outside the off stump, which prompted Laura to leave the drive. As South Africa was left at 133-2, Mignon du Preez entered the crease at No. 4.

Mignon Du Preez and Lara Goodall’s Partnership Steer South Africa to a Historic Series Victory

A phenomenal six by du Prezz helped South Africa cross the 150-run mark on the scoreboard as they stood at 154-2. She didn’t wait long as she hit a boundary on the very next ball, getting 10 runs off 2 balls in Poonam Yadav’s 34th over. Soon, Lara Goodall joined du Preez to add few more boundaries.

A lot of action was seen in the second powerplay of the innings as South African batters were seen struggling for runs as India restricted them as much as possible, but they somehow managed to add runs to the scoreboard. The duo added 50 runs to their partnership for the second wicket.

With few errors in bowling by the Indian spinners and South Africa making the most out of it, at the end of the 39th over, the visitors stood at 191-2. Towards the end of the powerplay, South Africa hit powerful shots, posting 3 boundaries in the last over of the powerplay. At the end of the 40th over, South Africa was 206-2.

Radha Yadav displayed a great game while fielding but gave away a lot of runs while bowling. Poonam Yadav’s overs were very expensive too. India needed a wicket very desperately. A much-needed knock for South Africa was posted by Mignon du Preez as she brought up her 15th 50 off 45 deliveries, keeping South Africa’s hopes high. This was her first half-century on Indian soil. The duo posted a 100 run partnership in the 44th over.

Wasn’t much long when India got another breakthrough as Mignon du Preez was taken down at 61(55) by Rajeshwari Gayakwad as she tossed the ball up on the off stump and was caught by Harmanpreet Kaur. At 238-3, South Africans needed 29 from 30 balls at the end of the 45th over.

Soon, Lara Goodall completed her 2nd ODI 50 in the 46th over keeping South Africa’s head high throughout the match.

Debutant Radha Yadav was seen under pressure while bowling as she gave away a lot of runs. The only way for India to win this game was if all the spinner planned their ball to grab the wickets.

Instead, the bowlers gave away a lot of runs in the death over as South Africa chased the target in 49th overs, with almost 4 boundaries coming in between 47-49 overs.

South Africa Women’s Team Creates History, Winning ODI Series In India

This was South Africa’s highest run chase in ODI, against India in India. With a game to go, the Proteas have clinched the series with today’s terrific win over India and hence lead the series 3-1.

Vaishnavi Iyer

I’m a Senior Masters student pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication. An all time Cricket enthusiast. I could never play the game but always loved watching it, and now writing about it!

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