Mithali Raj and Co whitewash South Africa to win ODI series 3-0
Vadodara: Spinners helped India pull off a thrilling six-run win over South Africa in a low-scoring third women's ODI and complete a 3-0 series whitewash here yesterday. India were able to defend a modest 146 by bowling out South Africa for 140 in 48 overs. Spinners Ekta Bisht (3-32), Deepti Sharma (2-24) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-22) were the architect of the win that reaffirmed India's supremacy over South Africa, who also lost the preceding six-game T20 series.
It seemed South Africa would get their first win of the series when they bundled out India in 45.5 overs but another disappointing batting performance denied them the opportunity. India made a disastrous start after winning the toss, losing openers Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues in the second over. With the hosts reeling at 55-5, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Singh steadied the innings with a 76-ball 38 with the other valuable contribution coming from Shikha Pandey (35 off 40 balls).
Most of the batters, including captain Mithali Raj (11 off 46 balls), failed to shift gears after getting settled, resulting in India posting a below-par total. In the end, even that proved to be enough against South Africa, who were on course for a comfortable win at 103-5 in the 30th over. However, India fought back through their spinners and even part timers Harmanpreet and Rodrigues did their bit.
Rodrigues wraps it up
Rodrigues took the final wicket of the game to spark celebrations. It was also her first scalp in international cricket. The three-match series was not part of the Women's ODI Championship as both teams played that last year when India won 2-1.
India 146 all out in 45.5 overs (H Kaur 38, S Pandey 35;
M Kapp 3-20, S Ismail 2-18,
A Khaka 2-33) beat SA 140 in 48 overs (Kapp 29, S Luus 24;
E Bisht 3-32, R Gayakwad 2-22, D Sharma 2-24) by 6 runs
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