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WWC 2017, IND v SA review: South Africa stun the on song Indians

India suffered their first loss in this World Cup by a huge 115 runs margin.

Dane van Niekerk South Africa
Dane van Niekerk of South Africa pictured with the ‘Players of the Match’ award. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images )

Just when the Indian fans thought their Women’s team was marching the way towards their first ever World Cup title, South Africa halted their progress with some all-round brilliance. On the day, Indians were no match for the Proteas and South Africa registered a crucial win which keeps them in the top 4.

Batting first, Laura Wolvaardt was dismissed in the second over and the South African batters were not up for any “steadying the ship” type of approach. Instead, they went all out on the Indian bowlers, especially Lizelle Lee, who played one of the knocks of the tournament.

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Whilst Lee kept scoring a brisk pace, Trisha Chetty blocked the other end. From the spearhead of the Indian attack Jhulan Goswami to other dependable bowlers like Ekta Bisht, Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey, every one leaked runs as dealing with Lee was getting difficult with every passing over.

Chetty slogged one straight to Jhulan Goswami at mid-off after scoring 24 off 45 balls but this didn’t stop Lee by any stretch of the imagination. She kept scoring a minimum of one boundary in every over and the scoreboard kept ticking even faster. Lee spanked Harmanpreet Kaur for 2 boundaries in the 21st over and as she was inching closer to a hundred, Harmanpreet eventually dismissed the 25-year-old.

Lee scored 92 off 65 balls and her extraordinary rendition included 10 fours and 7 sixes. When she departed, the scorecard read 134 in 20.4 overs for the loss of three wickets and after that, it was the supremely talented skipper who took charge of the innings. Dan van Niekerk picked up 4 wickets against West Indies without conceding a run and she followed it up with a decent inning with the bat today.

She piled up a half-century with a strike-rate over 90, yet the scoring rate dipped and they couldn’t get the kind of score they would’ve ideally wanted. 300+ was definitely on the cards when Lee was batting but they could manage only 273, courtesy some decent bowling in the death from the Indians. Chole Tyron hit few lusty blows and that ensured they got past the 270 mark.

Shikha Pandey was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 3/40 in 9 overs to go with a brace from Ekta Bisht and Harmanpreet. A forgettable day it was for the bowling contingent, but their batting display was even more catastrophic.

The unexpected batting collapse

Smriti Mandhana failed 3rd time in a row in this tournament and she was back in the gallery in the very second over. But things looked pretty sorted with a decent partnership building between Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma. They were scoring at a decent rate and setting a good platform for the middle-order.

Ayabonga Khaka embarked an unexpected batting collapse as she cleaned up Punam Raut with the scoreboard reading 47. Skipper Van Niekerk then rattled her opposite number Mithali Raj’s stumps and this was the first time the latter was dismissed for a golden duck. Two balls later, Harmanpreet was rapped on the pads and the Proteas had 3 wickets in 5 balls.

Veda Krishnamurthy was the next victim of this onslaught from the South Africans as Khaka knocked her stumps three overs after Harmanpreet’s wicket. Shikha Pandey attempted a nothing shot and was stumped off Van Niekerk and 6 batters were back in the dressing room before the 17th over, with a paltry 56 runs on the board.

Some terrible misunderstanding between Sushma Verma and Deepti Sharma saw the former walking back in the most undesirable ways possible. Jhulan Goswami and Deepti batted together for the next 18 overs, but the duo never caught up with the required run-rate. The only positive in this innings for India was the 19-year-old Deepti’s resilience and composure with the bat, which earned her a well-deserved half-century.

With the required run rate creeping over 12, Deepti went aerial off Van Niekerk and was caught at long-on. She scored 60 off 111 balls and her partnership with the fast bowler ensured India got to a respectable total. It was just a formality after that and India suffered their first loss in this World Cup by a huge 115 runs margin.

Brief Scores

South Africa: 273/9 in 50 overs (Leizelle Lee 92, Van Niekerk 57, Shikha Pandey 3/40)

India: 158 all out in 46 overs (Deepti Sharma 60, Jhulan Goswami 43, Van Niekerk 4/22)

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