Bowlers help India women complete ODI whitewash against South Africa

In her typical style Raj took the pressure off her partner and quickly outscored her to raise her 53rd ODI fifty

In her typical style Raj took the pressure off her partner and quickly outscored her to raise her 53rd ODI fifty

All five bowlers employed by India picked up at least a wicket as they bowled out South Africa for 164. It was also her first scalp in worldwide cricket.

Spinners Ekta Bisht (3/32 in 10 overs), Deepti Sharma (2/24 in 10) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/22 in 10) were the architects of the win that reaffirmed India's supremacy over South Africa, who also lost the preceding six-game T20 series.

India Women's top four batters Priya Punia, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj and Jemimah Rodrigues all have the ability to score big. While Rodrigues took a liking to Shabnim Ismail, Punia was severe on Ayabonga Khaka who leaked 33 runs in her three-over opening spell. Both Mithali and Punam eventually fell to poor shot selection, with Mithali slashing hard outside off and Punam attempting a unsafe scoop.

India first restricted South Africa to 247/6 after electing to field and then returned to overhaul the target with two overs to spare and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Opener Laura Wolvaardt (69), Mignon du Preez (44) and Lizelle Lee (40) played crucial knocks to power visitors to a respectable total in their quota of 50 overs. Both Mithali and Punam fell to poor shots - the skipper attempted an expansive drive going to sweeper cover, while the latter played a unsafe scoop which caused her departure. Du Preez took South Africa close to 250 before falling in the last over.

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But, there comes the surprise, as Mansi Joshi, who is standing at mid-off runs towards her left to complete the catch by grabbing the ball, which bounced off Ekta Bisht hands. Harmanpreet hit five fours in her 38 off 76, while Pandey was more adventurous, collecting six fours in her 40-ball 35. Thus, she became the first woman to have an ODI career of 20+ years and only the 4th player across Men's and Women's cricket with an ODI career as long as 20 years. But, now, here comes a tag team catch right in the middle of the ground. She bowls an array of dot balls and shifts the pressure onto the batters.

The India women had already clinched the ODI series with two consecutive wins.

Shabnim Ismail (11, 57b) and Nondimuso Shangase (10, 31b) hung around gamely, but when Shabnim pulled a short ball from Harmanpreet Kaur to Punam Raut at deep mid-wicket, South Africa's hopes were dashed.

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