Powerful batting performance by Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Shafali Verma propelled Team India to 274/7 in 50 overs against South Africa, in the ongoing ICC Women’s ODI World Cup clash, here in Christchurch on Sunday.
Opting to bat first, the Women in Blue had a fiery start as openers Shafali and Mandhana thrashed the Proteas bowlers and brought up a 90-run partnership. South Africa finally got a sigh of relief when Shafali got run out after playing a knock of 53 runs.
Yastika Bhatia came to crease and departed short after as she got bowled out by Chloe Tryon, leaving India’s total at 96/2. Skipper Mithali Raj then joined hands with Mandhana and the duo played a fiery inning and their side’s through the 150-run mark in the 29th over.
Mandhana then fell prey to Masabata Klaas’ spell and departed after scoring 71 runs, with the team’s total at 176/3. Harmanpreet Kaur came to the crease and provided strong support to Mithali, who then achieved her half-century.
The partnership between Mithali and Harmanpreet finally broke when the former got caught by Tryon on the delivery of Klaas. Following Mithali’s dismissal, Pooja Vastrakar also departed with India’s total at 240/5.
Richa Ghosh joined Harmanpreet but also perished after a brief stint. Harmanpreet who was standing like the last pillar of Team India scored 48 runs and departed after getting bowled out by Ayabonga Khaka.
Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma came to the crease and remained unbeaten, to end India’s innings at 274/7.
India need to defend a total of 275 runs against South Africa, in order to seal the semi-final berth in the ongoing ICC Women’s ODI World Cup.
Brief scores: India 274/7 (Smriti Mandhana 71, Mithali Raj 68; Masabata Klaas 2/38) vs South Africa. (ANI)