Smriti Mandhana's Fifty Guides India To Comprehensive Win Over South Africa In 1st ODI

Last Update on: February 5th, 2018 at 10:33 pm

The last time India and South Africa had locked horns against each, the latter had come out on top by a big margin. South Africa had thrashed India by 115 runs in the group stage of last year’s World Cup in India. But since then, both the teams traded different paths. While South Africa exited the tournament at the group stage, India had gone on defy all the odds to make it to the final.

And on Monday (February), Mithali Raj & Co. made it quite clear that their loss in the World Cup was a mere fluke as they thrashed South Africa by 88 runs in the first One-Day International at Diamond Oval, Kimberley. It was the Indian women’s team first match since their World Cup heroics in June last year but their clinical performance did not show any sign of rustiness.

Opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana starred with the bat, scoring 84 as India scored 213 for 7 in the allotted 50 overs before skittling the hosts out for 125 in 43.2 overs. The win also helped the Women in Blue pick up two points towards the ICC Women’s Championship in their first game.

South Africa never looked in contention to chase down the total and were behind the required run-rate from the very start. Their work only became tougher due to the loss of wickets at regular intervals. By the time they reached 57, half of their side was back in the hut. Skipper Dane van Niekerk resisted the Indian attack with a patient 41 off 87, but with wickets falling at regular intervals from the other end, she could not take the attack to the opposition.

Also Read: Mithali Raj Opens Up On Bizarre Run-Out In World Cup Final

Apart from the skipper, only three other batswomen could cross the double-digit mark.  Jhulan Goswami was the pick of the bowler, taking 4 for 24 while Shikha Pandey had 3 for 23.

Earlier in the day, India’s decision to bat first turned out to be a good one as their top-order set the tone for a good score. The openers – Mandhana and Punam Raut – started slowly but added 55 runs before Ayabonga Khaka gave South Africa the breakthrough in the 15th over by accounting for Raut. Mandhana and skipper Mithali Raj then added 99 runs for the second wicket.

The stand was broken when Khaka struck again to remove Mandhana for 84. The knock came off 98 and was studded with eight fours and a six. Raj fell four balls after Mandhana’s exit, for 45, and India failed to finish the innings strongly. A collapse saw them getting reduced to 196 for 7 from 154 for 1. The modest 213-run score, however, turned out to be more than enough in the end.

Also Read: Smriti Mandhana Reveals The Man She Would Like To Date And He Is Not Virat Kohli

Brief score:

India Women 213/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 84, Mithali Raj 45; Marizanne Kapp 2-26, Ayabonga Khaka 2-47) beat South Africa Women 125 in 43.2 overs (Dane van Niekerk 41; Jhulan Goswami 4-24, Shikha Pandey 3-23) by 88 runs.


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