Indian Cricket Fever
Indian Women Show Men The Way
By Indian Cricket Fever
February 13 2018

Before Virat Kohli and his men sealed the ODI series against South Africa 4-1, the Indian women had sealed their series against the Lady Proteas' 2-1 in similar emphatic manner with Smriti Mandhana scoring a classy 135 and fifties from Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy followed by a familiar trial by spin. 

With a thumping 178-run win the second ODI, India Women took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series in the ICC Women’s Championship against South Africa Women. While Smriti Mandhana (135 off 129) set-up the game with a sparkling century, a stable knock by Harmanpreet Kaur (55* off 69) and a late onslaught by Veda Krishnamurthy (51* off 33) put India in a commanding position. Defending the 302-run total, the Indian spinners bundled out SA for 124 after Jhulan Goswami set the tone by claiming her 200th ODI scalp.

Mandhana shaped the Indian innings with yet another well-paced knock in the second match to set the stage for a solid total. The opener posted her highest ODI score as she built the innings and helped lay a foundation for the batters to build on.

After losing her opening partner Punam Raut with 56 runs on the board, the left-hand bat was joined by Mithali Raj in adding 51 runs for the second wicket. After S Luus claimed the India captain, Harmanpreet joined forces with the opener to carry the momentum forward. Mandhana, who had missed out on a century in the first game, brought up the three-figure mark.

The Mandhana-Harmanpreet duo had taken the team to 241 when the opener was sent back by R Ntozakhe for 135. With 40 balls left in the innings, Krishnamurthy joined Harmanpreet in the middle. Capitalising on the platform set by the top-order, the duo gleaned runs off the SA attack. Krishnamurthy was particularly destructive as she took the attack to the bowlers to accelerate the flow of runs. Both batters remained unbeaten as they took India to a massive 302 for three.

Goswami then gave the visitors an early breakthrough with the wicket of L Wolvaardt, leaving the side on 32 for one. The India attack then continued to strike at regular intervals while Lizelle Lee strove to keep the innings in the reckoning. T Chetty was sent back by Rajeshwari Gayakwad five overs later leaving the hosts on 51 for two. A bit later Poonam Yadav struck; claiming A Steyn and S Luus off successive overs to leave SA on 68 for four. D van Niekerk was the next to return to the pavilion for a single digit score – trapped lbw by Gayakwad and three runs later C Tyron was run out.

Lee, who had been battling an uphill task was trapped lbw by Deepti Sharma leaving the side on 113 for seven and later in the over, the bowler castled A Khaka. Yadav the wrapped up the game with the wickets of M Klaas and R Ntozakhe.

Brief scorecard: India 302/3 in 50 overs (S Mandhana 135, Harmanpreet Kaur 55*, V Krishnamurthy 51*) beat South Africa 124/10 in 30.5 overs (L Lee 73, P Yadav 4/24, R Gayakwad 2/14, D Sharma 2/34, J Goswami 1/29) by 178 runs