Before this 9th match of Women Quadrangular Series in South Africa, team India won 19 games back to back. The team sealed his World Cup berth in its previous campaign. However, in the latest tussle, South Africa emerged as the winner at their home ground. India lost the match by 8 runs. Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to send South Africa into the pitch. The strategy was good, but her bowlers leaked out some extra runs in the inning. South Women bolstered themselves to 269 with a triple cameo from the top order. Jhulan Goswami trapped opener Lizelle Lee in the first ball of the inning. It might have rung the bell for South Africa, making it the only palpable success in the inning for India.
The next wicket was 36 overs away. Top players Andre Steyn and Trisha Chetty partnered for 151 runs in the stretch at second wicket. Ekta Bisht trapped Chetty but it did not change the match at bit because Chloe Tryon remained unbeaten throughout the inning. Chetty scored 76 adding the imperative runs to the score. Andre Steyn caught and bowled by Rajeshwari Gayakwad, but she did her part enough. Steyn scored 83 runs. The next big strike was from Tryon. In fact, it was her enterprise that hauled the score to that unbeatable figures. The player hammered 77 off 39 balls in a flashy strike. She plundered 5 fours and 6 sixes.
The target of 270 was high. However, India is the team that delivered the highest partnership stretch in just the previous match. The chase was strong. By the 15th over, India lost the first wicket, with a good run rate, reaching 83, the opening stand between Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut. It mostly had boundaries. After Raut left, Sharma partnered with Mithali Raj forging another partnership stretch of more than 11 overs bringing 68 runs. She scored 71 off 71 balls. In the match, captain Raj knocked her 45th ODI fifty.
The chase was alive only until Sharma was on the crease. India was 3 for 179 when Raj was dismissed. It was in the 33rd over. This plummeted down to 248 for 8 in the 47thover. Still, the win was not far away had the bowlers delivered something with the bats. By the end of the inning, India hanged with the final wickets, short by 8 runs to reach the target. It was indeed a narrow victory for South Africa Women. The win or loss however, had no impact on the team’s stance, as their points have already hauled them to the finale on May 21. India and South Africa will play the final at Potchefstroom.
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