India Women got off to a winning start to their ICC Women’s Championship 2017-21 by beating South Africa women at their home ground. The Mithali Raj-led team posted a resounding 88-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. While Smriti Mandhana (84) helped set the hosts a stiff 214-run target, Jhulan Goswami (4/24) and Shikha Pandey (3/23) bowled SA out for 125 to claim victory.
With Punam Raut, Mandhana had put together 55 runs for the opening stand until the former was sent back by A Khaka. Mithali then joined the opener in laying the foundation for a solid total. Chipping away at the opponents the pair had taken India to 154 when Khaka struck again to end the flourishing partnership. The bowler accounted for the stylish opener while M Klaas claimed the India captain in the next to leave the visitors on 155 for three.
With the fall of two quick wickets, SA found their way back into the innings and continued to keep the rest of the line up on a tight leash. Four runs later Veda Krishnamurthy was run out followed by Deepti Sharma a bit later leaving India on 168 for five. Harmanpreet Kaur, who was the next to return to the pavilion for 16 off 33. M Kapp dealt a double blow by accounting for Harmanpreet and Sushma Verma to leave the side on 196 for seven. Goswami and Pandey then took India to 213 for seven in their stipulated overs.
Defending the respectable total, Pandey gave India their first breakthrough. The pacer claimed L Lee to leave SA on 13 for one and in her next over sent back T Chetty. Four runs later she got the better of M du Preez to leave SA reeling on 23 for three. A few overs later L Wolvaardt was dismissed by Poonam Yadav, while Goswami followed up with the wicket of C Tyron to leave SA wobbling on 57 for five. While the senior pacer ran through the remaining SA lineup, Yadav dismissed M Kapp and SA’s top-scorer, D van Niekerk (41) was dismissed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad as they bowled SA out for 125 runs.
Brief scorecard – India 213/7 in 50 overs (S Mandhana 84, M Raj 45, M Kapp 2/26, A Khaka 2/47) beat SA 125/10 in 43.2 overs (D van Niekerk 41, J Goswami 4/24, S Pandey 3/23, P Yadav 2/22) by 88 runs.