Hello and welcome to the highlights of the first ODI between India Women and South Africa Women at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.
RESULT: India 177/9 in 50 overs lost to South Africa 178/2 in 40.1 overs.
What a start to the tour for South Africa. India has one day to ponder over what it needs to do to make a comeback in this series. The next game is on Tuesday, the 9th of March. Until then, its goodbye!
Shabnim Ismail, Player of the match: The plan was quite simple, try to maintain our line and length. Us as team the way we are growing has been great.
Sune Luus: It was a near perfect game, proud of the girls. The way Lizelle and Laura batted was world class. There are areas to improve, but right now we will take the win. The way both built the innings was exceptional.
Mithali Raj, India captain: Batters got start. Bowlers need to be consistent, but they are coming of a long break. Today we were lacking both of bowling and batting. (The positives) We had partnerships at the top and the tail got some runs. Harman bowling was a positive as was Jhulan.
Time for the presentation
Summary: Sune Luus won the toss in the morning and put India into bat on a pitch that had some early help. India found itself in early trouble, but captain Mithali Raj brought all her experience into play, scoring an invaluable 50.
Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma got off to starts, but could not kick on. None of the other batswomen got going for the Indians and eventually, they could conjure up only 177 runs in their 50 overs.
Then, with the bat, the South African opening pair of Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt negated everything that came their way with ease. They put on 169 runs for the first wicket, before Wolvaardt fell for 80 to Jhulan, who later added Luus to her tally.
But those scalps came in very late in the day for the Indians, who were crushed by eight wickets.
Stay tuned for the presentation.
40.1- South Africa go 1-0 up in the series, with that wide from Harmanpreet Kaur. Sums up India's day. They have been outplayed here in this first game.
WICKET! Leading edge from Luus's bat lands in the hands of Deepti Sharma. Jhulan gets her second wicket.
172/1 (39)- Three runs from that Harmanpreet over. Just six runs needed now.
Harmanpreet Kaur is back into the attack.
169/1 (38)- A wicket maiden from Jhulan Goswami. India's lone bright spot comes from its veteran pacer, who traps Woolvardt lbw for 80. The batswomen, however, can consider herself slightly unlucky as the ball it seemed was headed down the leg side.
Captain Sune Luus is in at 3.
WICEKET! Jhulan Goswami strikes for India. A really full ball strikes Woolvardt on her pads and umpire Nandan raises his finger.
Woolvardt out lbw Jhulan 80 (110)
169/0 (37)- Another profitable over for the South Africans. Gayakwad going for 10 runs in that over.
159/0 (36)- A rare tidy over from one of the pacers. Just two runs coming of that over from Jhulan. Under 20 runs needed for a win now.
Jhulan Goswami is back for one final spell.
South Africa has taken the Batting Powerplay.
157/0 (35)- South Africa is now motoring to a win. Two boundaries of Lee's bat yields eight runs from Patel's comeback over. Grim scenes in the Indian camp.
Monica Patel is back into the attack, replacing Poonam Yadav.
149/0 (34)- Another costly over, this time from Gayakwad, who concedes 10 runs. A mere 29 runs needed now.
This is the first time in her last six matches, Poonam Yadav has gone wicketless in ODIs and is just the 2nd time in 12 ODIs against South Africa.
South Africa has completely dominated proceedings and is well on course to win this first game. Both Lee and Wolvaardt have played risk-free cricket. They have taken the singles whenever on offer and put the bad ball away when it has come their way. India looking slightly lost for ideas.
Time for a drinks break.
139/0 (33)- Poonam Yadav finishes her spell. 10-0-34-0. Three runs coming from her last over.
Poonam Yadav to bowl her last over for the day.
136/0 (32)- Seven runs from that Gayakwad over. South Africa marching on here.
Under 50 runs needed now for a win for South Africa.
129/0 (31)- India almost made their first inroad into the South African batting line-up. Poonam Yadav induced the drive from Woolvardt, the ball went low towards the cover fielder Harmapreet Kaur, but bursted through her hands for a single. Half a chance.
126/0 (30)- Economical over from Gayakwad. Just two runs coming from that. No real threat for the South African batswomen to deal with.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad replaces Deepti Sharma in the attack. A third change in three overs for India.
124/0 (29)- Even as the others continue to struggle, Poonam Yadav has kept it tight at her end. Just four runs coming of that over.
120/0 (28)- Deepti Sharma replaced Jhulan in the attack and Lee struck her for a six off her very first ball to bring up her fifty. After three dots, Lee capitalised once again, this time of a short ball from Deepti, cutting the ball past the third man fielder for four.
Lizelle Lee follows suit, reaches her 50 off 84 balls.
110/0 (27)- That expensive over from Jhulan is followed by a tidy one from Poonam Yadav, who gives away one run.
109/0 (26)- Expensive over from Jhulan. 10 runs came of it, the over brought up South Africa's 100 and also Wolvaardt's fifty, which came in streaky fashion. The ball kept low, took the edge and Sushma Verma was unable to bend down and collect the ball cleanly, It beat her and raced to the boundary. Later in the over, Wolvaardt struck another four, beating the third man fielder convincingly.
Laura Woolvardt brings up her half-century. A fine innings from the opening batswomen.
99/0 (25)- One run from that Poonam Yadav over. There has been no need for the South African batters to take risks of any kind. The pitch has eased up and the Indian bowlers are not getting a lot out of it.
97/0 (24) - A brace for Wolvaardt from Jhulan over. South Africa eating into the total, slowly but surely.
95/0 (23)- South African batters have looked to play Poonam Yadav mainly off the backfoot. The leg-spinner has been her usual self, giving the ball a lot of air and the visitors have played the ball late.
92/0 (22)- Overthrows of the last ball makes it three runs from that Jhulan over. Largely stump-to-stump bowling from the veteran.
Jhulan Goswami back into the attack, replacing Harmanpreet Kaur.
89/0 (21)- Tidy over from Poonam Yadav. She beat Lee's bat with the one that turned just a hint. No damage done, though.
86/0 (20)- Harmanpreet induces a thick outside edge, but with no slip and a slightly wide third man, the ball races away to the boundary. Six runs from that over.
80/0 (19)- Both Lee and Wolvaardt look well-settled in the middle. Very little on offer for the spinners. Three runs came from Poonam Yadav over. The visitors need less than 100 runs for a win now.
77/0 (18)- Tidy start post the break from the Indian bowlers, post the break. Harmanpreet's off-spin yields a mere two runs.
75/0 (17)- Just a solitary run from that Poonam Yadav over. Not much turn on offer. The South African batters negotiating it with little difficulty.
India will hope the drinks break brings a change in their fortunes. South Africa firm favourites to go 1-0 up at this stage.
74/0 (16) - Three runs come off the over. South Africa cruising at the moment. They can do nothing wrong as this point, India running out of ideas.
Harmanpreet into the attack. There's something so cool about seeing these bowlers go about their work with cap on!
71/0 (15) - Wolvaardt has no mercy and this was a good toss to win. The outfield is helping the Proteans amply with Wolvaardt greeting Poonam with a boundary of the second ball. Lizelle Lee is not to be left behind. Brought back on strike, Lee sends her packing between deep square and deep midwicket. It would have been a third boundary but Smriti Mandhana dives to stop the ball. Neat work!
60/0 (14) - India needs Poonam Yadav but Gayakwad bowls this one. Three runs given and the brakes are applied. Poonam gears up to come in. She is literally India's last option now.
57/0 (13) - 13 runs - the most expensive over of the match - finally comes to an end - three boundaries here. The first - four byes as it foxes Lee and the keeper to run away to the ropes. The second was thumped before square and beats Raut at deep midwicket. The third swept across deep midwicket again. Ridiculous batting here from Lizelle Lee. She was clinical in the field and is now coming good up top.
45/0 (12) - Good running between the wickets here. Lee angles on to point and there's a sudden runout chance but Wolvaardt is quick and is safe way before Verma manages to dislodge the bails.
43/0 (11) - A masterclass in opening here from Laura Wolvaardt. Five boundaries so far - with this cut nicely to give her four runs.
37/0 (10) - Woolvardt breaks free and finds some breathing space. The spin stranglehold is broken with a beautiful cover drive.
33/0 (9) - Effective here for India as Deepti tests Lee with her angles. Maiden over for her. This is good, but not as good as not having Lee and Wolvaardt here altogether. Wickets - the need of the hour.
Deepti Sharma comes in now. Double change from Mithali. Full switch to spin. There's a slip in place.
33/0 (8) - Gayakwad presses pause on the Protean charge immediately. No wickets, but this is what India wants. To slow things down and frustrate the batters. Just the one run here from the over.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad comes in and brings spin with her. India wants to pull the brakes here on the SA surge.
At this stage, India was 19/2 - having lost both its openers.
31/0 (7) - Lizelle Lee is so strong square off the wicket. She is happy to use the extra width to get the ball racing to the boundary. Sweeper cover comes in, a fine leg has come in for Lee. Defensive field from India. If this was Sune Luus, she would have switched up the bowling arsenal. Should Mithali introduce spin? As we ponder, Jhulan drifts down leg side and there is no protection behind leg. Four leg byes. Painful for Jhulan this.
22/0 (6)- Not bad at all this, from Monica Patel. She's kept it tight. Maiden. And her teammates are patting her on the back as they reposition themselves. Heartening to see. I cannot imagine the pressure she must be under right now, considering she's come in at the expense of a few names including Shikha Pandey and Ekta Bisht.
21/0 (5) - Give Laura Wolvaardt anything a little outside off and it will find the boundary rope. She's dispatched this short ball from Jhulan with a crisp square cut. She is in form. She may look tentative but she knows her placement. India needs one of them back in the pavilion to give itself a chance.
17/0 (4) - True to strategy, Lee manages a beautiful drive through cover off Monica Patel. She plays it safe for the rest of the over.
13/0 (3) - Tight over here from Jhulan. The deliveries have oscillated between good length and full to try and get the Protean batters to play, but Lee and Wolvaardt are happy to defend and exploit the newbie at the other end.
It's hard not to see the obvious difference in match practice between these two teams. South African players have had a series in Pakistan and Women's Big Bash game time. The Indians are unfortunately breaking out of protective packaging post lockdown only now. It was a good batting pitch and the lineup generally struggled to get going. The bowlers need to find their rhythm if they have to stay in the game.
12/0 (2)- Monica Patel comes into the attack. The debutant is facing a very formidable batting duo. Wolvaardt has given her a harsh welcome hitting the newcomer for two consecutive boundaries - both square. Harmanpreet and Mithali are in her ear, getting her to calm down. She doesn't need to be that instant impact bowler. She needs to settle in and find a rhythm and that helps in the very next ball. Back-to-back appeals from Patel and the fielders close to her - the first one angling in towards the leg stump and the other hitting the outside of Wolvaardt's pads before going to Verma behind the stumps.
4/0 (1) - Jhulan has not run in this way in a year. Coronavirus, you cruel thing! Mental block? Nope. A short ball from Jhulan and Lizelle Lee cuts for a boundary. Confident start to a seemingly easy chase for the Proteas.
And we are back! Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt will stand guard for South Africa. A slip and a gully in place for Jhulan Goswami. Lizelle Lee has lost her wicket to Jhulan a few times so that wll play on her mind as she faces her today.
INNINGS SUMMARY: South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl on a surface that started out with a fair bit of moisture. India lost both its openers cheaply before Harmanpreet Kaur, who is featuring in her 100th ODI, and Mithali Raj steadied the Indian innings adding 62 runs for the fourth wicket. After Harman fell for 40, Mithali stitched a 52-run partnership with Deepti Sharma, also getting to her 54th half century in the process and falling immediately after. Post that, the Indian team struggled to get going with the last ten overs yielding an abysmal 21 runs. India has set South Africa a target of 178. With the kind of batting firepower the Proteas possess, India needs to look at getting quick wickets and using Sune Luus' strategy today of not allowing weak links to fester against dangerous batters. Big ups to Shabnam Ismail who had a shaky start to her day, struggling with line and length. She has been the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to her name. The pacers did well to contain the runs today and spinners looked like they were easy targets. However, Nonkululeko Mlaba - also expensive initially- turned it around and took two wickets of her own.
I am going to try and sneak a snack and we will be back with the South African chase in a few moments. Stick around.
177/9 (50) - India is smashing everything here trying to scrape as many runs as possible. Poonam manages two runs in the first ball, after smashing to deep midwicket. A few nervy singles later, Monica Patel finds herself short of her crease. Very lathargic here, she needs to ground her bat and she could have survived that. Ayabonga Khaka stutters there with a wide off the last ball. But India finally finishes with 177. Monica Patel 4 (24) run out Wolvaardt
171/8 (49) - One solitary run here. The Indian dugout looks out of energy here in Lucknow. Now to the last over of the Indian innings.
170/8 (48) - Patel seems to be waking up to the urgency of needing these runs and is now trying to rotate the strike. This is what India needed more of - the ones and twos need to keep coming. It's something the lone surviving member of the Indian men's team which registered the country's first win - CD Gopinath said as well. You can check out our interview with him here. Five runs come off the over. Can India manage 200?
165/8 (47) - Monica Patel gets her first couple of runs in international cricket, getting two runs after guiding the ball down fine leg.
162/8 ( 46) South Africa is well and truly back in this game to neutralise India's advantage. Marizanne Kapp completes a safe over for both sides, but not without a flustered appeal in the fifth ball when the ball hit Poonam Yadav's pads. It seemed to be going off leg and the umpire does not entertain the shouts.
162/8 (45) - OUT. JHULAN GOES. After Ismail and Kapp restricted India to just a run each in the last two overs, India finds itself in a lot of trouble after Ismail sends back Jhulan. It's wide length ball from the Protean pacer. Jhulan goes aerial awkwardly. Laura Woolvardt makes no mistake at point. From 154/4 to 160/8 . Another wicket maiden, this time for Shabnam Ismail. Jhulan Goswami 4(11) c Woolvardt b Ismail
Wicket maiden for Mlaba. She has finished her spell with 2 wickets to her name. She was Harman's target and now she's helped her team push India further back in this game. How the tide turns!
158/7 (42) - Just as we spoke of saving wickets, Sushma Verma departs ! Debutant Monica Patel comes in now. This was a poor dismissal, with Verma literally gifting this dismissal to Wolvaardt at point. Second wicket for Mlaba. In the last 26 deliveries, India has lost 3 wickets now for just six runs. Sushma Verma 1(12) c Woolvardt b Mlaba
India has this habit of losing wickets in the middle overs. Jhulan and Sushma can afford to take a few deliveries to just settle in and then try and accelerate. But then, we can say what we please behind our computer screens. It's all up to Jhulan and Sushma now. India needs to rebuild here to get to a competitive total. Woolvardt, Luus, du Preez can give India a run for its money.
156/6 (40) - Third ball of the over and Deepti walks back to the pavilion. What was she trying to do there? She gets down on one knee to try to paddle the ball. But Deepti goes too far across and the ball disturbs her woodwork. South Africa has clawed its way back into this game. Jhulan comes in now. Another veteran. Deepti Sharma 27 (46) b Mlaba
155/5 (39) - Sushma Verma came out to replace the skipper in the previous over. Ayabonga Khaka comes on to maintain the pressure. A quiet over goes by with just the solitary run coming off it. Sushma still not off the mark. Maybe rallying around Deepti is the way to go?
154/4 (38) - FIFTY AND GONE. Mithali Raj hits down to deep square to bring up her 54th half century. What a player and what a time to get this knock. I was just about framing this tweet for her to check how many more runs she needs to get to the 7000-run mark and she gives her wicket away. To be fair t the skipper, it's a sharp catch by Woolvardt who gets the ball hit straight to her. 62 runs to go. Mithali Raj 50 (85) c Woolvardt b Ismail
152/4 (37) - OH. Put down. Well not exactly. Woolvardt gets her fingers to a smash from Deepti. But it's too strong and fast and runs off to third man.
147/4 (36) - What a beautiful sound off Deepti's bat as she powers that shot between mid on and midwicket for four. Just two more runs coming off that over again. Might seem mellow but India is still managing 6 runs an over here which is not bad at all. South Africa has been rotating its bowlers and not allowing India to settle in against any one bowler.
Game in the balance here in Lucknow with 15 more overs to go. Batting powerplay now.
141/4 (35) - Wristy shot here from Deepti in the second delivery of the innings as she sends de Klerk to midwicket Impeccable placement here from Deepti. Two more runs come off the over to help India to 141.
135/4 (34) - WE HAVE THE FIRST SIX OF THE INNINGS. Mithali Raj, who has paced herself measuredly so far goes aerial over log on for the first clearance of the day. This is a typical Mithali innings. We've seen her do this for two decades now. Comfortable familiarity.
126/4 (33) - de Klerk sneaks in a mellow over. One run coming off it. Snail pace now from India. The run rate down from 4 to 3.81.
125/4 (32) - Can we please speak about Lizelle Lee's fielding today? She has saved her side at least eight runs so far with her diving saves. She does so once more as Mithali tries to drive down cover. One run comes off this over. South Africa has got what it wanted in terms of stemming the runs. But the big fish - Mithali is still out there. She is the prize catch SA will now hunt for.
124/4 (31) - Two deliveries down and Deepti Sharma is itching to free her hands here and she does. She sends de Klerk down to cover after navigating an awkwardly full length delivery.
Nadine de Klerk is back into the attack. She's been expensive today. We have not seen any sixes in this innings so far.
It's been a dull two overs with one direct hit scare for Deepti Sharma. Six run came off the two. India stands at 120/4 at the 30 over mark. Can they manage to get the score close to 200-250? Stay with us to find out.
114/4 (28) - Sune Luus back at the other end and it continues to be relatively quiet here from the Indian batters but Mithali ends the over with a gorgeous cut down mid off. Mithali Raj makes for great cricket watching. No debate.
106/4 (27) - It's all up to Mithali and Dipti Sharma now. Harman's dismissal jolts the run rate. Just two runs coming off this over from Khaka.
104/4 (26) - Luus breaks the partnership. HARMANPREET WALKS. Harman walks down the pitch to get this tossed up delivery from Sune Luus, but there's something off about this shot, even a little rash if I may say so. Shabnam Ismal is waiting patiently at long off and completes a straight forward catch. Harman cannot believe it. She walks. In her 100th ODI, the vice captain has made a valiant 40.
Harman 40 (41) c Ismail b Luus
101/3 (25) - 100 up for India. Mlaba bowls a short one but Harman is in the zone, sending the ball to the long on boundary to take India beyond 100 on the scoreboard.
94/3 (24) - The Protean skipper brings herself on from the other end. Four runs from the over. The Indian pair looking steady. South Africa needs a wicket now to swing some momentum back in its favour.
90/3 (23) - Harman repeats her Mlaba welcome. Another boundary to begin the over. Mlaba does the same, keeping things tight over the next five balls. The difference here is Harman seems to have found a rhythm here. Sune Luus has been great today in her decisions, changing her bowling combination according to the pace of the Indians. She needs to figure out how to plug this run flow. Fifty partnership comes up between the captain and her deputy.
83/3 (22) - I stepped away to get a little water and I see Harman dealing in boundaries. She's easing into the game here and how. Harman welcomes Mlaba back into the attack with a boundary between point and backward point. The spinner pegs back though keeps things tight for the rest of the over. But Harman can't be contained as Nadine de Klerk gets a schooling from the Indian vice captain - two boundaries in the 11 runs that come off this over. Mid off, mid on. No mercy from Harman.
67/3 (20) - 20-over mark is here and we've seen some jittery running in this over. Nadine de Klerk comes in to attack and bowls a full one onto Mithali's pads. She dispatches the ball to square leg and wants two but Harman is strolling to the other end and is not quick enough to return leaving Mithali scrambling back to the non-strikers end. Phew.
63/3 (19) - Luus back in the attack. Four runs coming off the over again. Mithali and Harmanpreet are cautious here. They have stitch up a partnership to help India build a competitive total here.
59/3 (18) Harman realises the time crunch and chips one down cover straight from the middle of the bat to begin the over. The short ball helps her free her arms a little. Mithali is not one to be left behind and follows suit two deliveries later with a strong punch down cover for four. Very graceful and strong batters, these two!
50/3 (17) - Team Fifty up! India going slow here, but two important batters out here. Four runs coming off Luus' over.
46/3 (16) - Maiden for Marizanne Kapp which also featured an LBW call for Harman after a full delivery threateningly proceeds inwards onto her pads. No harm done. That brings Sune Luus into the attack and she will go round the wicket.
45/3 (15) - 3 extras already here in this over from Khaka. Not too much trouble to the scoreline. Harman is just settling in. That last delivery meanders in a little but Harman dodges any trouble with a strong high block. 45/3 in 15 and it's time for drinks.
South Africa has taken off the spinner. Harmanpreet loves playing spin and Mlaba is yet to find her feet here today. We're back to the seam arsenal from Luus.
41/3 (14) - Odd misfield by South Africa. Raut cuts Ismail. The ball races down to Mlaba but she has spilt it there and the ball ricochetes off her to the boundary. Gifts, this. But what is this? ISMAIL STRIKES. RAUT WALKS. A bouncer from Ismail sees Raut go aerial towards fine leg. Khaka makes no mistake and Raut is left slamming her bat on the pitch. This brings Harmanpreet Kaur onto the field. The India vice captain is playing her 100th ODI and Ismail nearly sends her walking right back with a leading edge falling just short of slip. Poonam Raut 10 (29) c Khaka b Ismail
36/2 (13) - Experience taking advantage of inexperience, says Snehal Pradhan on commentary and she isn't wrong. Mithali is at ease out there. She takes her time and plays it late, sending this between short third and backward point for a boundary.
31/2 (12) - Shabnam Ismail comes in. She has been the most expensive this morning and has struggled to find the right length, without doing too much damage. As I type though, we see the first short ball coming off Ismail here - that characteristic Ismail delivery that can create some trouble. Mithali is playing the monk and is happy to wait. She is in no hurry to throw away her wicket.
31/2 (11) After 10 overs of pace, we are getting spin now with Nonkululek Mlaba. Breathing space for Raut and Mithali? Maybe. But just two runs come off it.
There is a generous level of heat here. Any moisture this track has can evaporate. This track will get easier to bat on in a few hours and Luus and Co. will count on it going forward.
28/2 (9) - The Protean pacers kept Mithali subdued but Mithali being Mithali gets off the mark by opening the face of the bat to Ayabonga Khaka and driving her down cover for a boundary. She's beaten two fielders in the process as welll. Mithali is playing her 210th ODI. Longevity.
23/2 (8) - It's been a tight fielding effort from South Africa. It's a good batting surface here at the Ekana but the Proteas are keen to keep the pressure going. Marizanne Kapp has bowled four overs so far and picked up Jemimah Rodrigues. Good morning for the Protean veteran. Quiet few overs and Raut and Raj deal in singles to just settle in.
Both openers have fallen cheaply today. As far as signs go, what more does the world need to through at the Indian side for them to induct Shafali Verma into the lineup? Have your say below.
Mithali is 112 runs short of the big 7000-run mark.
18/2 (6) - SECOND WICKET GONE FOR INDIA. What a gorgeous piece of fielding from Lizelle Lee at gully to dismiss Jemimah cheaply. Kapp is thrilled after an outside edge carries to her compatriot. Good start for the Proteas. Both openers back in the hut and that brings the India skipper Mithali Raj out on the field. Jitters for her too as the last ball f the over - going a little higher hits the flap of the pad before it goes to Chetty. The umpire denies the appeals going by the height of the carry. Jemimah Rodrigues 1(11) c Lee b Kapp
India needs a partnership now. Smriti Mandhana was looking more fluent among the two and accounted for 14 of the 16 runs until her dismissal. Can Raut and Jemimah steady India?
17/1 (5) - INDIA LOSES ITS FIRST WICKET. Instant impact here - Ayabonga Khaka. She bowls one carrying away from the body and Mandhana tries to cut it, but a thick edge laying low goes to a diving Trisha Chetty. Chetty is a little unsure of whether she's taken it cleanly seeing how low this kept. But the job is done well. Mandhana walks back. In comes Punam Raut. Smriti Mandhana 14 (20) - c Chetty b Khaka
16/0 (4) Quite over except for a thick edge off the last ball from Marizanne Kapp here. Mandhana manages a safe single there. Things have calmed down here at the Ekana Stadium after the initial flurry.
15/0 (3) -Jemimah is in no hurry to get going. She's settling in and she can afford to. Smriti comes in with encouraging statistics to her name. In her last 10 ODIs, Smriti has 6 fifties and a century to her name.
14/0 (2) - Mandhana welcomes Kapp with a generous boundary past mid off. She's happy to lay low for the rest of the over. Measured start here from India.
Marizanne Kapp takes guard at the other end.
10/0 (1) - Jemimah gets off the mark instantly punching one down the offside for a quick single. Smriti Mandhana does on better with some great timing, punching Shabnam Ismail for two boundaries, one down cover and the other through midwicket, in three balls. Confident start from the girls. Smriti Mandhana particularly hit a rough patch of sorts during the World Cup and was just beginning to find some rhythm in the Women's T20 Challenge. She will be happy with this start.
Shabnam Ismail will start proceedings with two slips in place. Aggressive from the word go for SA. Three fielders on the onside. Jemimah takes first strike. The conditions look good in Lucknow. There is moisture here and some grass on the pitch.
8:50am: TOSS: South Africa has won the toss and chosen to bowl. Debut for Monica Patel.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Sushma Verma, Monica Patel, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami
South Africa: Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Sune Luus, Lara Goodall, Mignon du Preez, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululek Mlaba
MILESTONE ALERT: Harmanpreet Kaur plays her 100th ODI today. Incidentally, her first ODI was on 7 March 2009.
Mithali Raj: I am happy to see a price on the tickets. If we do well, the interest will develop. The rhythm was cut off after the T20 World Cup. I am looking forward to see people coming in and encouraging the national side.
A little over 30 minutes to go for proceedings to begin. Let's quickly listen in to what the captain of the Indian side said ahead of the series.
8.15AM: It feels great to have women's cricket back in India again. It's been a long, restless journey to get here. While you wait for things to get going in Lucknow, here's some reading material from our magazine: Women's cricket: When will Team India return to the field?
India has a 7-2 win record against South Africa.
8AM: India returns to the field after 364 days, one day short of the anniversary of the World T20 final which the Women in Blue lost to Australia. South Africa comes into this series fresh from a successful tour of Pakistan. Both teams will have on goal besides working for a win - putting things in place for the ODI World Cup in New Zealand next year.
Who is playing:
When does the match begin:
March 7, 9am IST
Where to watch:
India Women vs South Africa Women ODIs will be live on Star Sports 2 (and HD) and Star Sports 3 (and HD). The India Women vs South Africa Women ODIs will also be streamed online on Disney+Hotstar.