South Africa Clinch Thriller Over India

Momentum Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt tracks a ball off her bat during the 2022 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup. Wolvaardt's 80 off 79 balls was South Africa's highest score in their final group-stage fixture against India at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Sunday, 27 March 2022. Photo: ICC/Getty

India crash out of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 as South Africa clinched a last-ball thriller with three wickets to spare.

South Africa’s win ensured that West Indies book a berth in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

India got off to a perfect start with the ball. A direct hit from Harmanpreet Kaur finding Lizelle Lee well short of her ground, breaking the opening partnership in the fifth over. Thereafter, however, South Africa dominated the Indian bowling, with Wolvaardt and Goodall coming to the party.

Wolvaardt was the aggressor in the partnership, scoring boundaries regularly to take the pressure off her team in the Powerplay. She raced to 34 off 32 in the Powerplay to keep South Africa’s chase on track. Goodall, who was playing second fiddle up to that point, soon was amongst the boundaries after the fielding restrictions were lifted.

India were guilty of bowling wide outside off stumps to Wolvaardt and were punished by the South African opener, who got to her fifty in 44 balls. The two batters brought up their 100-run partnership in the 21st over as South Africa looked on course to chasing the total.

However, India struck twice in two overs to remove the two set batters. Goodall was beaten in the air and off the surface by Rajeshwari Gayakwad and was stumped by Richa Ghosh. Harmanpreet Kaur went through Wolvaardt’s gates to inject some life into the Indian team.

Suné Luus and Mignon du Preez settled the nerves after the two quick wickets, adding 37 runs for the fourth wicket. Kaur was the one with the golden arm once again to break the stand, trapping the skipper in front of the stumps for 22.

Marizanne Kapp, South Africa’s crisis woman in the tournament, kept her cool despite the rising required run rate and kept finding the boundaries to put the pressure back on the Indian spinners. Together with Mignon du Preez, she stitched a 57-run partnership. Du Preez was given a reprieve in the 44th overs, with Mandhana dropping a regulation catch in the deep but India made up for it by running out Kapp two balls later.

Needing 45 off 30, the tide shifted in South Africa’s favour in the next two overs, with Chloe Tryon and du Preez finding five boundaries to bring the required run rate down to almost run-a-ball. Gayakwad struck in the final ball of the 46th over, completing a simple return catch off Tryon’s leading edge.

With 14 needed off two, South Africa decided to play out Gayakwad’s final over, playing the field to take seven runs off the penultimate over. Du Preez got to her fifty in the final over but Trisha Chetty was run-out off the same ball as they tried to steal a double.

Earlier in the day, fifties from Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma and Mithali Raj took India to 274/7 in their 50 overs after opting to bat first. South Africa, though fought back brilliantly in the death overs, using the short ball and slower ones to great effect to put a lid on scoring. At one point, India looked good to finish on a score close to 300 but South Africa managed to pull things, giving away just 51 runs in the last 10 overs.

Openers Shafali Verma (53) and Smriti Mandhana made their intentions early and the pair found the boundary with ease to help India bring up their 50 without loss.

Verma was run out in the 15th over to give South Africa some relief and Yastika Bhatia (2) followed shortly after to Chloe Tryon (1/24) as India were quickly reduced to 96/2.

Mandhana and Raj looked assured at the crease before a moment of brilliance on the field ended the 78-run stand. The southpaw tried to clear the in-field but a stunning catch by Chloe Tryon diving to her wrong side brought an end to Mandhana’s innings on 71.

After a few quiet overs, Mithali Raj started to take the attack to the bowlers and got to her fifty in the 36th over. The onslaught continued before another good catch from Tryon ended Raj’s innings.

South Africa managed to tie India down at the start of the death overs, adopting a short-ball ploy to keep India quiet. Vastrakar was pushed up the order but the move didn’t work out as she was done by Shabnim Ismail’s slower ball.

Boundaries were hard to come by for India before Harmanpreet Kaur finally found her timing in the 48th over with two consecutive fours to give some impetus to the innings. The Proteas pulled it back in the final two overs with the wickets of Richa Ghosh and Kaur to restrict India to 274/7.

 

South Africa XI:
Lizelle Lee
Laura Wolvaardt
Lara Goodall
Suné Luus (c)
Mignon du Preez
Marizanne Kapp
Chloe Tryon
Trisha Chetty
Shabnim Ismail
Masabata Klaas
Ayabonga Khaka

India XI:
Smriti Mandhana
Shafali Verma
Yastika Bhatia
Mithali Raj (c)
Harmanpreet Kaur
Richa Ghosh
Sneh Rana
Pooja Vastrakar
Deepti Sharma
Meghna Singh
Rajeshwari Gayakwad

 

Photo 1 Caption: Momentum Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt tracks a ball off her bat during the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Wolvaardt’s 80 off 79 balls was South Africa’s highest score in their final group-stage fixture against India at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Sunday, 27 March 2022. Photo: ICC/Getty

With editing by gsport

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