Upbeat India takes on South Africa, eyes semifinal spot

India is on a rampaging run having beaten England, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka convincingly to be second in the standings behind Australia.

India will take heart from its recent successes against South Africa, having beaten the team in the final of a Quadrangular series in May.   -  AP

A confident India will seek to extend its unbeaten run to five matches and secure a semifinal spot when it takes on South Africa in the ICC Women's World Cup here tomorrow.

India is on a rampaging run having beaten England, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka convincingly to be second in the standings behind Australia.

South Africa, on the other hand, is fifth with two wins and a loss from four games with one ending in a washout. India will also take heart from its recent successes against South Africa, having beaten it in the final of a Quadrangular series in May.

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    "We are quite confident for the game against South Africa because in the last four or five games we have played against them we have done well," said Veda Krishnamurthy on eve of the game.

    "We are aware of their team, we know what combinations and players are there, so we can play according to our strengths. We played them a couple of months back so we know their strengths and weaknesses," she said.

    India was able to defend 232 in its previous game Sri Lanka although it looked like posting a bigger total after the launchpad provided by Deepti Sharma (78) and skipper Mithali Raj (53).

    With 206 runs at 68.66, stylish opener Smriti Mandhana remains India's leading run getter despite failures in the last two games.

    Raj has led from the front, scoring 178 runs in four games, which includes two half centuries. The spin trio of Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma have been the backbone of India's bowling, sharing 19 wickets amongst them.

    They face South Africa, which is looking to bounce back from the England loss after the host amassed the fifth highest score in World Cup history to win by 68 runs. But captain Dane van Niekerk believes her bowlers can reproduce the team's stunning form that saw them bowl the West Indies out for 48 at the same venue.

    She said: "Our bowlers don't like getting hit like that, I am sure they will come back firing even stronger so I am excited to see what they will do in the next few days and how they are going to go about their work. It doesn't mean their skills have gone away in just one game, and it doesn't mean the West Indies game was a fluke. We are a good bowling side, every team in the world has had days like this.

    "India are a brilliant batting side, they have a lot of spinners and they are on a high. They are playing really good cricket at the moment and they are the ones to beat."

    • Teams From
    • South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (captain), Trisha Chetty. Moseline Daniels, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt, Odine Kirsten
    • India: Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smrti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Poonam, Nuzhat Parween, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma, Smriti Mandhana.