Dane van Niekerk starred with the bat and ball as South Africa ended India’s unbeaten run in the ICC Women’s World Cup and enhanced its own chances of securing a spot in the semifinals.
South Africa defeated India by 115 runs in Leicester thanks largely to captain Van Niekerk who took four for 22 and scored 57 runs.
Van Niekerk excelled with both bat and ball as her South Africa side recorded an emphatic victory, with Lizelle Lee’ 92 playing a leading role as SA compiled 273 9 from its 50 overs.
In reply, India was always struggling with Deepti Sharma top scoring with 60, as it was bowled out for 158 in 46 overs.
A half century for the skipper and 97 for Lizelle Lee saw South Africa post a challenging total before a dramatic collapse at the crease saw India lose five wickets in 27 balls.
More followed in quick succession as Sharma recorded a half century in the only highlight of the innings for India.
“I just felt like taking it deep. I know their game well enough to know I can take it away,” said Van Niekerk. “I just stuck to my plans, and today it came off. We said we wanted it, and we did that.
“It wasn’t as clinical as I hoped,” she concede, but while giving credit where due: “Everyone chipped in and it was a brilliant team performance.”
After an early departure for Laura Wolvaardt, Lee ensured total South Africa domination in the early stages, hitting nine boundaries within the opening 10 overs on her way to clinching her 12th ODI 50.
She was eventually bowled leg before wicket for 92, after which India’s bowling slowed the pace of its opponents’ scoring down, adding two more dismissals within 28 balls. Van Niekerk then produced a half century to add to India’s woes.
A difficult start to the innings saw India lose Smriti Mandhana in the second over, before three wickets in five balls – including a golden duck for India captain Mithali Raj – extended the deficit.
Three more were quickly dismissed within 24 balls, but India managed to hold out for 46 overs.
The Match in Brief:
South Africa beat India by 115 runs at Grace Road, Leicester
South Africa 273 9, 50 overs (Lizelle Lee 92; Dane Van Niekerk 57; Ayabonga Khaka 2 33; Dane Van Niekerk 4 22; Sune Luus 1 27)
India 158 all out from 46 overs (Deepti Sharma 60; Jhulan Goswami 43; Shikha Pandey 3 40; Harmanpreet Kaur 2 18; Ekta Bisht 2 68)
Player of the match Dane Van Niekerk (South Africa)
Next Match – South Africa v Sri Lanka, The County Ground, Taunton, 12 July; India v Australia, Bristol County Ground, Bristol, 12 July
Photo 1 caption: South Africa scored a morale-boosting win against potent rivals India in Leicester on Saturday, to stay in the tournament log’s top four nations ahead of fixtures against Sri lanka and Australia. Pictured here, Shabnim Ismail is congratulated on the wicket of Smriti Mandhana. Photo: ICC
Photo 2 caption: Proteas Women opening batter Lizelle Lee proved her worth with a quick-fire 92 for South Africa, her inspired innings a key element in South Africa having set a total of 274, after losing the toss and being inserted to bat. Photo: ICC
Photo 3 caption: Dane van Niekerk is congratulated on her half century by Shabnim Ismail, during the ICC Women s World Cup 2017 match between South Africa and India. Photo: ICC
Photo 4 caption: Mithali Raj, captain of India, a picture of concentration ahead of her batting innings against South Africa. Her stay was the most unkind, a golden duck to Momentum Proteas skipper, Dane van Niekerk. Photo: ICC
Photo 5 caption: Player of the Match Dane van Niekerk as she celebrates bowling Mithali Raj, skipper of India, during the titanic clash between the two sides at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, in Leicester. Photo: ICC
With editing by gsport