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IND vs SA: Smriti Mandhana, Asha Sobhana Star As India Beat South Africa Convincingly

The 1st ODI between India and South Africa occurred in the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, June 16. India registered a comfortable win by 143 runs. Smriti Mandhana smashed a swashbuckling century whereas Asha Sobhana scalped a four-wicket haul on debut and sealed the deal.

India won the toss and chose to bat first as Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana walked down to open the innings on a poised start with just a double from the bat of Shafali in the first over which Mandhana took forward with two back-to-back boundaries in the second over bowled by Masabata Klaas.

Verma too took to her maestro to hit her first boundary in the following over but met her much early dismissal in the very next over by Klaas as she was caught behind by Jafta. Dayalan Hemalatha came first down and showed some confidence in the sixth over by hitting a four, but she too got succumbed to Nonkululeko Mlaba as she was caught by Shangase in the ninth over. Mandhana and the Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur brought the powerplay to an end at 51 for the loss of 2 with two boundaries and another one by them respectively.

The twelfth over saw Kaur’s unfortunate dismissal as Annerie Dercksen got the breakthrough for her team. For the next two overs, the inning seemed to get silent until Mandhana came forward with her boundary in the fifteenth over. Jemimah Rodrigues was new in the queue to get her first boundary in the 18th over. Although the duo was trying to rotate the strikes, but Jemimah too met her dismissal in the 21st over at just 17 off 28 balls followed by a shocking departure of Richa Ghosh in the following over by Ayabonga Khaka.

Deepti Sharma was fresh enough for the inning when she entered down the order to hit her first boundary in the 25th over. Both the batters were playing it calmly to get the timely singles and doubles rotating the strikes at needed intervals to get the scoreboard moving until Mandhana boosted the same with her long-awaited boundary in the 32nd over bringing up the 50-run partnership.

Deepti fueled that with her subsequent boundary in the 33rd over followed by another in the 35th over along with a double and a single to end the over. Mandhana brought two boundaries in the 37th over to boost the run rate but the long-standing partnership finally came to an end as Ayabonga Khaka bowled her out in the 38th over when Sharma was at 37 off 48 but that was overcome well by Pooja Vastrakar on the very next ball of the same over by a four.

Mandhana entered her 90s with a banging boundary in the 41st over which was empowered excellently with the first maximum of the match that pushed her to 99 followed by a single that brought the vice-captain’s stunning century. The 44th over and the 45th over saw a boundary each from both the batters followed by another one by Mandhana in the 46th over.

And a brilliant knock of 127-ball 117 by Mandhana finally came to an end on the very first ball of the 47th over by Klass but Vastrakar came up with a boundary flayed on the up in the 48th over. Although Radha Yadav and Vastrakar managed to bring a few singles furthermore, but Yadav had to depart on an unfortunate catch by Mlaba. And the inning finally froze at 265 for the loss of 8 as Asha Sobhana brought the final boundary in the last over followed by a single.

The South African chase commenced at a terrific boundary stroke by Laura Wolvaardt but Renuka Singh brought havoc for the Proteas with her excellent spell that bowled her down on the very fourth ball of the chase’s first over. Tazmin Brits took too much power to revitalize the inning much quickly with a retaliating boundary in the second over followed by her another in the 4th over and one from the bat of Anneke Bosch before she got succumbed to Vastrakar’s second ball in the sixth over.

Brits and Sune Luus tried to bring some balance in the run-scoring with a boundary each from both of their bats but that couldn’t turn up to the expectations as the battling Brits met her dismissal right after the powerplay as Deepti Sharma got the breakthrough for her team. The next five overs were as silent as a few singles coming up with much ado, but Luus brought the much-awaited boundary in the 17th over followed by Marizanne Kapp’s boundary in the 19th over followed by the first six of the chase but she too met her most unfortunate dismissal in the 22nd over as Sobhana sent her back to the dugout at 24 off 39.

And this somewhat brought the collapse for the South African chase as Annerie Dercksen was run out in the 24th over but Luus tried her bat hard to get a couple of much needed boundaries in the 25th over which was followed by two overs that could only get a few singles that was taken care well by Nondumiso Shangase with her contribution with a boundary in the 28th over.

The twenty-ninth over bowled by Deepti Sharma brought Luus down as she met her dismissal at 33 off 58, a much-required knock but couldn’t meet the expectations that could win the match for South Africa. Sinalo Jafta was next in the queue to provide some strength to the chase with her first boundary in the 32nd over by Kaur but Radha Yadav stroke back as Shangase met her LBW to walk back to the pavilion in the very next over.

Sinalo Jafta was now fueled up well with her strokes that brought back-to-back boundaries for her team which was an indication to retaliate a bit with two consecutive boundaries in the 34th over and one more in the following over that was taken forward by Sobhana who charged in to bag two more wickets in the name of Masabata Klaas and Nonkululeko Mlaba. And the last wicket of Khaka at a golden duck finally summed up South Africa’s inning at just 122.

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Dipak Kumar Gupta
Dipak Kumar Gupta
A Journalist and Writer by profession from Kolkata, Dipak is an avid and ardent admirer and supporter of the arena of Women's Cricket which has proved itself a massive powerhouse in the world of cricket and this urge to contribute to the sphere has been contemplated by the platform of Women's CricInsight.


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