Having already beaten England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, one more victory would see India progress to the semi-finals at the ICC Women’s World Cup. However, India went down to South Africa by 115 runs for their first loss of the tournament. Mithali Raj won the toss and decided ti field first – a decison that bakfired as South Africa piled on 273 runs powered by opener Lizelle Lee’s 92 of 65. In response, India were all out for 158, with Deepti Sharma top scoring with a gritty 60. Here’s how the match unfolded.
This is India’s first loss of this World Cup, after four straight wins. A win today would have meant a semifinal slot, but India were out of the match right from the start with Lizelle Lee’s blistering 92 and then the captain and Player of the Match Dane van Niekerk scored a half-century and then struck four wickets to dismiss India’s top batters – Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur – for ducks in one over.
Earlier this year, India had beaten South Africa in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers and the Quadrangular series on their home soil. But Mithali Raj and Co were unable to notch another victory over the Proteas, perhaps when it counted the most. India play Australia and New Zealand next and will have to beat at least one of them to have a shot at the semis. The next match will be on Wednesday against defending champions Australia.
South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk is the Player of the Match for her half-century and her 4/22. But she says Lizelle Lee deserved it more for her 92 off 65.
Here’s a look at the World Cup points table after India’s loss to South Africa, and New Zealand’s win over Pakistan from earlier today.
Wicket! That’s it for India, South Africa win by 115 runs. Poonam Yadav is the last to fall as Shabnim Ismail finally gets a wicket for her sharp spell in her last over. A simple edged behind to keeper Trisha Chetty and the Proteas have notched a massive win. India bowled out for 158.
End of Over 45, India 155/1: What a time it has been for India in the last five overs as they cross 150 thanks to some neat shot-making by Goswami and Bisht. The duo put together 37 in only 30 balls with 25 coming in the last five overs. But a wicket maiden from Luus in the 45th puts an ends to the last flourish. South Africa one wicket away from victory.
Wicket! Ekta Bisht goes after a cameo 13 off 15. It was good while it lasted, as she put up a gritty fight with Goswami stitching together a partnership of 37 runs in only 30 balls. But in the end, it’s a simple catch off Sune Luus to van Niekerk at square leg. India 155/9
End of Over 40, India 128/8: India are still hanging in. Goswami now leads the resistance with a fighting knock that’s seen over 60 balls for 20-odd runs. Bisht is giving her good support as they build another partnership. The required run rate is well over 15, but every run added is a positive step towards reducing the margin of loss and thereby the overall NRR.
Wicket! Deepti Sharma’s gritty vigil comes to an end 60! Dane van Niekerk gets her fourth wicket in her last over as Deepti decided to go big in the Batting Powerplay. Comes down the track to loft the legspinner but the distance is a tad short and she finds the fielder at long-on instead. Deepti Sharma goes for 60 from 111 and the rear guard resistance comes to an end on 53. India 118/8. Ekta Bisht in next
End of Over 35, India 111/7: Deepti Sharma and Goswami are doing a commendable job of delaying the inevitable and giving us some good shots in the process, taking India past 100. The veteran takes two boundaries in an over from Luus and responds with a little wink. Their partnership is inching towards 50 now and they hold fort.
Fifty for Deepti Sharma! The young batter has carried on stolidly among the falling wickets and now gets to her half century in 79 balls – her seventh in ODI cricket. This has been a mature, patient and gritty, if not match winning, for her and Goswami has given her good support. The dup have put together 30 runs together, very valuebale to reduce the final margin of defeat. India 94/7 at the end of 30 overs.
End of Over 25, India 83/7: Surprise, surprise India have not lost a wicket in the last five over as Deepti Sharma and Jhulan Goswami put together a watch 18 together. South Africa have chopped and changed the bowlers to wrap up the Indian innings, but the 18-year-old Sharma is fighting it out with an unbeaten 44 and Goswami is playing the able foil with 3 off 20. How long can India draw this out? The final score will be very important if and when the semifinal race comes down to net run rate.
Wicket! A run out this time! Odd lack of communication between the two batters and Sushma Verma departs on one off eight. She guides the ball away and runs forward, as does Deepti Sharma from the other end. But the non-striker spots the fielder with the ball and stops midway but it’s too late for Verma who is sent back and caught short as Lee throws in the ball. India 65/7 and it’s only 20 overs. This is an incredibly commanding, all-round performance from South Africa.
Wicket! Another one for van Niekerk! Shikha Pandey completely misreads the legspinner’s classic delivery and it beats the batter, going straight to keeper Trisha Chetty who promptly breaks the stumps. Another of the Protea captain’s victim falls for a duck. Dane van Niekerk is having quite the match after her half-century and now three wickets.
Wicket! India’s fifth wicket falls! More sounds of timber this game as Khaka crashes Veda Krishnamurthy’s stumps with a rocket. The ball comes charging in and the batter comes forward and misses it completely. Her 14-ball 3 comes to an end, as half of India’s lineup is back in the hut. India 56/5. This is definitely not what India were looking at after putting in South Africa to bat.
Wicket! Van Niekerke gets Harmanpreet for a duck as well! The South African captain has made it count in her first over with two massive wickets in three balls. Another leg break that kept straight, it hits Harmanpreet pads plumb as she tries to defend. The umpire takes her time but she raises her finger signaling the fall of India’s fourth wicket in only the 13th over. India are in a real spot of bother here with 48/4 in a chase of 274 and the cream of the batting back in the hut.
Wicket! Mithali Raj is out on a first-ball duck! Dane van Niekerk, South African captain comes in to bowl to the Indian captain and gets her on a golden duck – the first ever in her ODI career. The legspinner bowls a straighter one and the ball goes through the gate between Raj’s bat and pad, crashing into the stumps. This is a big, big wicket for the Protreas and their celebration shows they know it. India 48/3
Wicket! Punam Raut is clean bowled! India lose their second wicket in the 12th over. Ayabonga Khaka sends in a slower delivery, Raut comes down the track and misses the line completely as the ball cleanly uproots Raut’s stumps. The opener’s fighting 22 off 37 comes to an end with India on 47/2.Mithali Raj comes in with India needing the captain’s experience more than ever in this chase.
End of Over 10, India 40/1: Much better end to the Powerplay by India, 28 runs coming off it. After the initial setback, Raut and Sharma rotated strike better and got an edged behind boundary to get seven off the sixth over. The next over from Ismail gave away no runs – but for a no ball where the free hit was wasted when Raut hit straight it the fielder. Ayabonga Khaka came in to replace Kapp and India upped the attack to get their first six of the innings as Raut came down the track and timed it perfectly to go over the ropes. Moseline Daniels then replaced Ismail and was taken for 10 runs with back-to-back boundaries from Sharma. Khaka came back strongly to concede only 2 runs as India finished the Powerplay on 40/1, as opposed to South Africa’s 71/1.
End of Over 5, India 12/1: Simply put, not the start India would have wanted. Ismail starts with a maiden, but Mandhana starts the second over with a four off Kapp’s first ball, only to be dismissed on the next. Ismail’s gave away only 2 in her next over while Kapp conceded a single four – a lovely touch by Punam Raut. More frugal bolwing from Ismail means India manage only 12 runs in the first five. India will need to pull up the scoring rate in the next five overs with fielding restrictions on to get a headstart on the big chase.
Wicket! Mandhana out in the second over! India’s chase could not have got a worse start as Smriti Mandhana is dismissed on the second ball she faces. Marizanne Kapp throws in a short ball after being hit for a boundary and the Mandhana pulls decisively – as was expected. However, Shabnim Ismail is placed conveniently and runs to her left to catch it low at the boundary. Smart catch, smart bowling and India’s high-flying opener is back after facing only 2 balls. India 4/1
Time for India’s chase: Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut with the bat for India, Shabnim Ismail with the new ball.
Stat Alert: India’s highest successful ODI run chase is 245, while the highest unsuccessful chase is 261. Mithali Raj and Co will have to beat both of these to seal the crucial win which will give them a shot at the semis.
Join us shortly to as India begin their record chase.
End of the innings, India set 274 to win: South Africa attempt a late flourish as van Niekerk and Tryon clobber 20 runs of the 46th over by Bisht with three sixes. Pacer Pandey is brought back and she gets Tryon out but van Niekerk continued the last flourish, reaching her half-century in the 48th over. Two more wickets fall in the last two overs but not before South Africa get 44 runs in the last five overs to reach 273/9.
Wicket! Bisht gets the ninth wicket in the last over: Shabnim Ismail comes out to play the spinner but she goes off balance trying to reach it while the ball goes behind to Sushma Verma who affects another easy stumping. Second wicket for Bisht, second stumping for Verma.
Wicket! Van Niekerk falls after a half-century! A relatively soft dismissal after a gritty 66-ball 57 as the South African captain chips straight to the fielder. Pandey gets her third wicket of the match as Smriti Mandhana pouches the simple catch at backward square-leg.
Fifty for van Niekerk! Captain’s knock for Dane van Niekerk as she has held an end for South Africa. This is her fifth half-century in 81 ODIs and she gets there with a cheeky reverse sweep.
Wicket! Pandey end Tryon’s late flourish! The attacking Chloe Tryon was looking set to give South Africa a late push with two mighty sixes in the last over. But Pandey, brought back after the expensive over, dismisses her as she attempts another big one. Tryon doesn’t get the right height to find the rope and it goes to the tall Goswami at long off, ending her 18-ball 24 cameo.
End of Over 45, South Africa 229/6: Tidy, tight bowling from India continues as South Africa have not been allowed to take off in the death overs as they did in the last game. The spinners have been especially effective is tying up the batter with Poonam Yadav bowling maiden in the 43rd over. With five overs to go, South Africa will be hoping to score in excess of 270 at least.
End of Over 40, South Africa 203/6: Excellent bowling by India in the Batting Powerplay as South Africa score only 14 runs in the five overs – paltry compared to the high-flying start they got. Goswami and Bisht have kept a tight hold on the South African lower order, including a maiden by the spinner, even with the field restrictions on.
Wicket! Goswami gets her first! The pacer strikes in the Powerplay as Sune Luus departs on 16 off 31. She tried to go for a shot in order to accelerate the scoring in the Batting Powerplay but she doesn’t get the distance or elevation and it goes straight to Veda Krishnamurthy at mid-off, who doesn’t miss. Chloe Tryon – who scored a 25-ball fifty in the record chase against England – is in next.
End of Over 35, South Africa 189/5: The Proteas are not letting the fall of wickets halt the flow of runs as van Niekerk and Luus build a partnership of 27 runs in 30 balls. They started cautiously but with good strike rotation and regular boundaries, they are playing themselves in. This is good batting from South Africa.
Wicket! Clean bowled and how! Harmanpreet’s off break is the game changer for India as she gets her second wicket. The ball goes straight through Marizanne Kapp’s defence and the middle stump is completely uprooted. Kapp goes on 19 off 30, Sune Luus is in next. Half the South African team is in the hut now, with 162 on board.
From 126/2 after 20 to 163/5 after 30 overs, this is a great comeback from India, they have bowled themselves back into the match.
Wicket! Poonam Yadav outfoxes du Preez! A flighted delivery and Mignon du Preez (22 of 29) comes forward to take on the spinner. But wait, she misses it and it goes right through and keeper Sushma Verma is quick to take the bails off. That was a nice piece of work by both bowler and wicketkeeper. Fourth wicket falls for South Africa, and captain Dane van Niekerk in next.
End of Over 25, South Africa 145/3: South Africa’s scoring rate has naturally taken a bit of a hit after the fall of Lizelle Lee. They have scored only 11 runs in the fours overs since Marizanne Kapp came in with a combination of pace and spin from India. They could have been in for worse, but for couple of missed chances in the field and a dropped catch by keeper Sushma Verma. India will need to be a lot more sharper in the field today, considering they are already looking at a steep chase.
Wicket! Harmanpreet gets the dangerous Lee on 92! The part-time spinner strikes in her very first over and India will be very relieved to see the back of the attacking Lizelle lee who had just moved on to the 90s. After trying most of the tricks in the book to dismiss her, Lee falls trying to play a ball that kept straight – classic from Harmanpreet. A very vociferous appeal (or plea) later, Lee goes for 92 off 65. South Africa 134/3. Massive wicket this for India.
End of Over 20, South Africa 126/2: The high-flying partnership may have been broken but South Africa’s swift scoring continues. The hitherto frugal Yadav goes for 10 runs, Bisht concedes 9 in her next, Sharma is taken for 13 with Lee slamming Six No 7 – another record for the hard hitting South African opener. After the spin trio are taken apart one after the other, pace in reintroduced as Pandey comes in to bowl and gives away only two runs – a welcome change for India.
Wicket! Bisht breaks the dangerous 91-run partnership! Trisha Chetty, the less aggressive of the two partners, is dismissed for 24 off 45. She tries to take on the spinner and goes for her shot but doesn’t clear the gap as it goes straight to Jhulan Goswami at mid-off and the tall pacer grabs to give India the breakthrough. South Africa 92/2. Mignon du Preez is in next.
End of Over 15, South Africa 90/1: The lifting of field restriction and the change of bowlers brings some respite for India. Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma give away only a run each in their first overs. Yadav follows it with another tidy over but the aggressive Lee beaks loose with 14 runs in the 14 over as she slogs Sharma for two more cleanly hit sixes. Yadav bowls another tidy over as South Africa are going strong at a run rate of exactly six at the end of 15 overs.
Fifty for Lizelle Lee. This is her 12th half-century in ODIs and third this World Cup already. It comes off 44 balls with five fours and five sixes. Powerful!
End of Over 10, South Africa 71/1: Lizelle Lee gets into the act! Lee takes wicket taker Pandey to the cleaners with 16 runs off the sixth over. A four through the covers followed by a flat and powerful six and then a decisive pull for another four – off a no ball – gives South Africa a shot in the arm in the Powerplay. Goswami comes and bowls a tidy over giving away only four and Pandey is replaced as spin comes in the eight over. Ekta Bisht bowls five dot balls in a row to Chetty, but the sixth ball is lofted for a crisp four.
That’s just the push the Proteas were looking for – Goswami’s next over goes for 15 runs as Lee muscles the veteran for two fours and a gorgeous, perfectly timed six. Her third six comes off the first ball Bisht bowls to her – another neat strike over the ropes. Oh wait, the last ball of the over also goes for a six; this one a slog over square. There was also a four in that 16-run over as South Africa make the utmost use of the Powerplay with 55 runs in the last five overs and Lee is on 48 of only 33 balls. This is exactly what South Africa needed after the early wicket.
End of Over 5, South Africa 16/1: Goswami started proceedings with a sharp first over – good length, shaping the ball well and giving away only one run. Pandey followed with a wicket off her second ball dismissing the dangerous Wolvaardt. Except for the two boundaries by Chetty (11 off 13) off both bowlers, the Indian pace duo haven’t given an inch to the South Africans so far.
Wicket! India strike in the second over! Laura Wolvaardt gets her stumps knocked out by Shikha Pandey with a gorgeous, in-swinging yorker. The 18-year-old batter tries to bring her bat down but is beaten and her stumps crash. And just like that the strong South African opening partnership is broken. Pandey was not picked in the last game and the determined pacer has made most of her second chance. Wolvaardt walks back on 1 off 3. Trisha Chetty is in next. South Africa 1/1
And we are set to go in this crucial game for India. Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt, who have been prolific for South Africa so far, will open for South Africa, while Jhulan Goswami with the new ball for India.
2:50 pm: Mithali Raj won the toss and opts to bowl first. India have made one change to the line up. Shikha Pandey comes in for Mansi Joshi.
2:45 pm: Hello and welcome to the live blog of India’s fifth match at the ICC Women’s World Cup. The opponents today, South Africa. Mithali Raj and Co are looking for their fifth win, and more importantly a place in the semi-final.
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