India women vs South Africa women: Proteas get second crack to get it right

South Africa's batting will be put on the spotlight in Vadodara as the Proteas fight to stay in the ODI series against the Indian team.

Lizelle Lee departs to the bowling of Jhulan Goswami in the first ODI.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

The South African batters must get their act together in the second women’s ODI against India for the side to stay alive in this three-match series. In the first match held on Wednesday, the visitor crumbled to 164 and fell to a one-sided eight-wicket defeat.

A sound 64-ball 54 from the experienced Marizanne Kapp showed that there were no demons in the Reliance Cricket Ground pitch. Marizanne desperately needed someone to stick around with her, to make a push for a competitive 220-230 total. But it was not to be, as her mates
came a cropper to loose shots and impatience. Partnership-building is an essential requirement in ODIs, and South Africa needs to get this right on Friday.

READ | Priya Punia, bowlers hand host emphatic win

The Indian bowlers, on the other hand, showed good control and reaped the rewards. Pacers Jhulan Goswami (three for 33) and Shikha Pandey (two for 38) found success through movement, and the spinners Ekta Bisht, Deepti Sharma and Poonam used flight to test the batters’ technique.

Unlike the South Africans, the home team faced no difficulties with the bat. An injury to regular opener Smriti Mandhana gave Priya Punia the chance to make her ODI debut, and the youngster cashed in. She overcame the early nerves by being cautious, and finished with an
assured unbeaten 124-ball 75. The 23-year-old will be keen on building on a great start to her ODI career.

The small crowd, comprising mainly of schoolchildren, were entertained by a brisk 55 by Jemimah Rodrigues. The teenager started brightly in the second ball of the innings, working it past mid-on for a boundary. The shorts balls met with full-blooded cuts and pulls, and she also
ran well between the wickets with Priya. The South Africans need to get Jemimah early, even if that means running into the big middle-order guns – Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur.