On Sunday, India and South Africa locked horns against each other in the 28th match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. India won the toss and elected to bat.
India got off to an electric start thanks to the opening pair of Shafali Verma (53 runs off 46 balls) and Smriti Mandhana who plundered 91 runs in 15 overs. The duo, especially Verma, tore apart the South African bowling attack, including Shabnim Ismail, who conceded 31 runs off her first three overs. After a solid start, India lost two wickets in quick succession as Verma was unfortunately run out and Yastika Bhatia was unlucky to be bowled while trying to sweep one outside the leg stump. Mandhana and captain Mithali Raj then joined hands together to stitch an 80-run partnership to take India to a commanding position. Mandhana top scored with 71 runs off 84 balls, while Raj mustered 68 runs off 84 balls, registering her 11th half-century in World Cups, which is the highest to date. Later, Harmanpreet Kaur muscled 48 runs off 57 balls to steer India to a fighting score of 7-274 in 50 overs.
— Female Cricket #CWC22 (@imfemalecricket) March 27, 2022
For South Africa, Shabnim Ismail and Masabata Klass were the top performers with the ball as they scalped 2-42 and 2-38 respectively. Ismail, having conceded 31 runs in her first three overs, made a strong comeback as she gave away just 11 runs in her next seven overs and picked up two key wickets too. Ayabonga Khaka and Chloe Tryon were the other two wicket-takers for South Africa as they chipped in one scalp apiece. Out of the six bowlers used by South Africa, two went wicket-less, including Marizanne Kapp and captain Sune Luus. On the field, the Proteas had a good outing as they held onto their catches apart from one that was dropped by Tryon at mid-wicket.
India have set a target of 275 for South Africa. Can South Africa chase down the target to register their fifth win of their World Cup campaign? Or will India be able to defend the total and qualify for the semi-finals? Stay tuned to find out.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.