Mignon du Preez scored a valiant 90 as South Africa pulled off a consolation seven-wicket win over India to go down 1-2 in the three-match series, which was part of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship.
Needing 42 off the last 30 balls, du Preez took her team over the line in 49.2 overs after opener Laura Wolvaardt struck 59 to lay the foundation of a successful chase.
India, which suffered its first loss of the tour, was 240 all out following half centuries from Deepti Sharma (79) and Veda Krishnamurthy (56).
South Africa left-arm pacer Shabnim Ismail did the maximum damage with four wickets while conceding 30 runs in nine overs.
After opting to bat, India decided to send Sharma at the top in the absence of Poonam Raut. The visiting team also rested veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami for the dead rubber.
India was dealt a big blow in the first over of the match when Ismail dismissed the in-form Smriti Mandhana (0). Mandhana had made a match-winning 135 and 84 in the first two ODIs.
Deepti, on the other hand, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and was unfortunate to miss out on a hundred. Deepti shared an 83-run stand with Veda for the fourth wicket, stabilising the innings after India lost three wickets for 57 runs in the 18th over.
South Africa lost its experienced opener Lizelle Lee early in the chase. However, that did not affect the host much as du Preez and Wolwaardt forged a 118-run partnership for the third wicket.
After the opener’s fall, du Preez got the job done with the support of captain Dane van Niekerk, who remained unbeaten on 41. Both teams now switch to the shortest format with the five-match T20 series beginning here on February 13.