The India women’s cricket team beat South Africa by 88 runs in the first ODI at Kimberley on Monday. India rode a fluent 84 by Smriti Mandhana to score 213/7 in their quota of 50 overs. In reply, South Africa collapsed to 125 all out in 43.2 overs with pacer Jhulan Goswami being the pick of the bowlers with 4/24. Goswami was supported well by medium pacer Shikha Pandey who took 3/23.
Electing to bat, India started well with a fifty-run partnership between openers Punam Raut and Mandhana. Raut was dismissed for 19 but Mandhana then went on to stitch a 99-run partnership with captain Mithali Raj till she was caught of Ayabonga Khaka’s bowling. Mandhana’s 98-ball knock had eight boundaries and one six in it.
Her dismissal though triggered a slew of wickets as India lost their next three wickets within 13 runs. The India captain was first bowled by medium-pacer Masabata Klaas. Veda Krishnamurthy was run out for just two before Deepti Sharma too was run out for two.
A 27-run partnership between Harmanpreet Kaur and Sushma Verma allowed India to gain some stability but they should have ideally capitalized on the start to score at least 250 if not more. South Africa though failed to put up any fight as they lost wickets at regular intervals in their chase of 213.
Only captain Dane van Niekerk, who was ultimately dismissed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s left-arm spin, stood out with a resilient 88-ball 41 as just four South Africa batswomen reached double figures. It was Pandey and Poonam Yadav (2/22) who dismissed the top-four within no time before Goswami came in to mop up the rest of the batting.
Brief scores: India 213/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 84, Mithali Raj 45) beat South Africa 125 all out in 43.2 overs (Dane van Niekerk 41, Jhulan Goswami 4/24, Shikha Pandey 3/23) by 88 runs.