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Proteas women end series against India on a positive note

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An impressive, all-round performance by the Momentum Proteas saw them clinch victory by seven-wickets over India in the third and last Women’s One-Day International (ODI) at Senwes Park on Saturday. The series ended with India winning 2-1, but the hosts will be pleased to have opened their ICC Women’s Championship account with two points.

A four-wicket haul by Shabnim Ismail and respective, unbeaten scores of 90 and 41 by Mignon du Preez and captain Dane van Niekerk, as well as a half-century by Laura Wolvaardt (59 off 88 balls) saw the home side finally play to the potential they have been discussing.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, posting a competitive 240 in their allotted overs. Deepti Sharma (79 off 112 balls, 8x4s) and Veda Krishnamurthy (56 off 64, 8x4s) top scored for their side as South Africa, led by Ismail (4/30 in 9 overs) made a good effort to take wickets at regular intervals. Chloe Tryon chipped in with a notable 2/48.

Their batting reply was disturbed early with the wicket of opener, Lizelle Lee (10) but Wolvaardt and Andrie Steyn put the Proteas back on track with a 41-run, second-wicket partnership before the latter was caught and bowled by Poonam Yadav for 30 in the 16th over. The batters did not let that deter them however, Wolvaardt once again picked up the pieces and, with the help of Du Preez added 118 runs to the board for the third-wicket, putting South Africa within reach.

The talented opener (Wolvaardt), was eventually dismissed at the close of the 39th over after bringing up her eighth ODI half-century and becoming the youngest woman to reach 1,000 ODI runs at 18 years and 290 days old. She is second overall, following Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi (17 years and 215 days).

A match-winning partnership between Du Preez and Van Niekerk then followed. They put on 72 runs to help their side to a confident-boosting, consolation win with four balls to spare.

The teams will have another quick turnaround before the start of the five-match T20 series starting on Tuesday, 13 February at the same venue in Potchefstroom. The first two matches will be streamed live on Cricket South Africa’s YouTube channel, with the remaining three broadcast live on SuperSport 2 as part of the KFC T20 double headers alongside their male counterparts.