INDW vs SAW: India stuns South Africa in low-scoring thriller, wins series 3-0

The India Women's cricket team completed the whitewash on South Africa with a six-run victory in a nail-biting third ODI in Vadodara.

The India Women's cricket team successfully defended a paltry 146 against South Africa at the Reliance Cricket Stadium in Vadodara to seal the the ODI series 3-0.   -  Vijay Soneji

India edged out South Africa by six runs in a low-scoring third and final ODI at the Reliance Cricket Ground here on Monday. Set a sub-par target of 147, South Africa collapsed from a comfortable 103 for five to 140 all out. The close win allowed India to complete a 3-0 sweep of the ODI series.

South Africa had the upper hand when Marizanne Kapp and Sune Luus were at the crease. The duo put on 40 runs for the sixth wicket, guiding the visitor close. Luus (24, 54b, 2x4) fell to left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, chipping one back to the bowler. Deepti Sharma then got the key wicket of Marizanne (29, 43b, 2x4) leg-before, with a sharp off-break.

AS IT HAPPENED

Shabnim Ismail (11, 57b) and Nondumiso Shangase (10, 31b) hung around gamely, but when Shabnim pulled a short ball from Harmanpreet Kaur to Punam Raut at deep mid-wicket, South Africa’s hopes were dashed. The last wicket pair of Tumi Sekhukhune and Ayabonga Khaka was left with a tricky nine runs to win. Captain Mithali Raj made a bold move, bringing part-timer Jemimah Rodrigues into the attack. It worked, as Jemimah got Sekhukhune to edge an off-break to Deepti Sharma at slip, sparking wild celebrations.

The South Africans had made a mess of what should have been a routine chase. “If I hadn’t lost my wicket, we would have won. In fact, we should have chased this down with only three down," an unhappy Marizanne said.

After opting to bat, India struggled to find runs on a slow, low pitch. A 49-run seventh-wicket stand between Harmanpreet (38, 76b, 5x4) and Shikha Pandey (35, 40b, 6x4) gave the team some hope, Marizanne (three for 20) was the most successful South African bowler, using cutters to great effect. The burly Lizelle Lee shone bright on the field, taking two sharp, low catches and a one-handed screamer above her head.

BRIEF SCORES

India - 146/10 in 45.5 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 38, Shikha Pandey 35, Marizanne Kapp 3/20, Shabnim Ismail 2/18) beat South Africa - 140/10 in 48 overs (Marizanne Kapp 29, Sune Luus 24, Ekta Bisht 3/32, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/22) by six runs.