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Proteas Women fall just short in Bengaluru

───   09:14 Thu, 20 Jun 2024

Proteas Women fall just short in Bengaluru | News Article
Marizanne Kapp - Cricinfo

Despite impressive centuries from Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp, the Proteas Women's efforts were not enough as India secured a 2-0 series lead with a narrow four-run victory.

Despite impressive centuries from Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp, the Proteas Women's efforts were not enough as India secured a 2-0 series lead with a narrow four-run victory. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur's hundreds propelled India to win the second ICC Women’s Championship (2022-25) One-Day International (ODI) in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

In pursuit of India's formidable 325/3, driven by Mandhana’s 136 off 120 balls (18 fours, 2 sixes) and Kaur’s 103* off 88 balls (9 fours, 3 sixes), South Africa demonstrated resilience through Wolvaardt (135* off 135 balls; 12 fours, 3 sixes) and Kapp (114 off 94; 11 fours, 3 sixes) but ultimately fell short, finishing at 321/6 after 50 overs.

The visitors chose to bowl first, and the South African bowlers delivered an effective opening spell, limiting India to 28/0 in 10 overs before Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/51) made the initial breakthrough, dismissing Shafali Verma (20) with a catch by Masabata Klaas.

Following a tentative start, Mandhana was joined by Dayalan Hemalatha (24). The pair accelerated India's innings with a 62-run partnership, taking the score to triple digits before Klaas (1/67) claimed her only wicket, removing Hemalatha.

Kaur then joined Mandhana, and the duo quickly found their rhythm, adding a 171-run stand for the third wicket. Both batters raised their bats for their half-centuries, positioning India for a significant total.

Mandhana continued her stellar form from the previous match, racing to her second consecutive century, equalling a record seventh ton for India, before being dismissed by Mlaba, leaving India at 271/3 in the 46th over.

Kaur and Richa Ghosh (25*) then added valuable runs in the final overs, with Kaur hitting two fours and a six in the last over to bring up her sixth career century, carrying India to 325/3 after 50 overs.

In their chase of the massive target, South Africa began cautiously. Tazmin Brits (5) was the first to fall in the fourth over to debutant Arundhati Reddy (1/62). Wolvaardt then received brief support from Anneke Bosch (18) and Sune´ Luus (12), taking the Proteas to 67/3 in the 15th over before both batters were dismissed by Deepti Sharma (2/56) and Mandhana (1/13), respectively.

With South Africa needing 259 runs for victory, Wolvaardt found a strong partner in Kapp. The experienced duo showcased their skills, advancing South Africa's chase to 150 runs in the 31st over, with both reaching their half-centuries.

Kapp took on the role of aggressor while Wolvaardt anchored the innings, contributing a crucial 184-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Kapp raced to her third career century off 85 balls before being caught in the deep, leaving South Africa at 251/4 in the 43rd over.

Following Kapp’s departure, Wolvaardt continued to score alongside Nadine de Klerk (28). Wolvaardt achieved her eighth ODI century, and South Africa took the match into the final over, needing 11 runs for victory.

With the match on a knife-edge, Pooja Vastrakar (2/54) picked up the crucial wickets of de Klerk and Nondumiso Shangase (0) in two balls before delivering a dot ball on the final delivery, securing a dramatic four-run triumph for India.

The third and final ODI is scheduled for Sunday, 23 June, at 13h30 local time (10h00 SAST) at the same venue.

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