Smriti Mandhana leads India's ODI series win against South Africa

Riding on Smriti Mandhana's terrific 90 and Harmanpreet Kaur's 42 India women's registered an easy six-wicket win in the third ODI match over South Africa in the third and final match of the ODI series at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

India completed a comprehensive six-wicket win in the third and last ODI to clinch the series 3-0.

Smriti played another terrific masterclass knock of 90 off 83 balls while star all-rounder Deepti Sharma shone with a ball to power India to a series clean sweep.

Chasing a target of 216, Shafali Verma and Priya Punia failed to convert runs for their team however Smriti continued her shining form at the top, only to narrowly miss out on a third successive ton. Once more, captain Harmanpreet was Mandhana's second fiddle. The duo made a quick 19 in their 48-run partnership but the captain was content to give up the strike as Mandhana got closer to an extraordinary achievement that ultimately fell short of expectations.

The vice-captain, who was dropped at 85, did manage to set a record for most runs in a three-match bilateral ODI series for women when she reached 90 with a total of 343; however, in an attempt to complete a sweep, she top-edged a delivery from Nonkululeko Mlaba, narrowly missing a rare hat-trick of hundreds.

From that point on, India needed just 45 more runs off the 19.2 remaining overs, and Harmanpreet and Jemimah Rodrigues combined to guarantee that the intensity never dropped. Indian skipper calmed the storm with a 48-ball 42 and nearly stayed till the finish line.

Earlier, the 9th wicket partnership of 37 from 44 between Tumi Sekhukhune and Mieke de Ridder lifted South Africa from a precarious position to post 215/8. After the openers, Brits and Wolvaardt's 102-run opening stand Proteas lost the plot and the batters failed to score big, losing 8 wickets for 76 runs.

Deepti Sharma and Arundhati Reddy bagged two wicket hauls respectively while spin sensation Shreyanka Patil and Pooja Vastrakar scalped one each.

Opted to bat first, South Africa openers Laura Wolvaardt and Tazmin Brits got their team off to a solid start as the duo hammered Indian bowlers, gathering 50 runs in 11 overs.

In the 17th over Wolvaardt, who slammed a stellar unbeaten 135, scored a 45-ball fifty. However Arundhati Reddy cut short Wolvaardt's brilliant stay at the crease as she removed the South Africa captain for 61.

The right-handed batter Marizanne Kapp then came out to bat. Brits fell prey to a terrible mix-up after scoring 38 and South Africa lost both their openers in the space of 8 balls.

Reddy bagged her second scalp of the match as she removed Anneke Bosch for 5. In the 27th over of the game, Shreyanka Patil gave her team a big wicket of Marizanne Kapp.

After 31 overs, India made a roaring back after they were pushed on the back foot by the pair of Wolvaardt and Brits. They picked up 4 wickets for just 18 runs to bring the game back in the balance.

Pooja Vastrakar with her good length ball angling removed Sune Luus for 13 runs. Star all-rounder Deepti Sharma with her crafty spin overpowered South Africa batters with back-to-back deliveries, removing well-set batter Nadine de Klerk (26) and Nonkululeko Mlaba for a golden duck.

In the last over, South Africa managed to post 215/8 on the back of Mieke de Ridder's stunning final over's two boundaries, gathering 14 runs after Indian bowlers kept the visitors in a stronghold.

Brief score: South Africa 215/8 (Laura Wolvaardt 61, Tazmin Brits 38; Deepti Sharma 2-27) vs India 220/4 (Smriti Mandhana 90, Harmanpreet Kaur 42; Ayabonga Khaka 1-38).


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