South Africa Ladies choose to bowl; India hand debut to Monica Patel
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The house workforce collapsed after Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur had led a middle-overs revival

India ladies177 for 9 (Raj 50, Ismail 3-28) v South Africa

South Africa ladies took clusters of wickets initially and finish of India ladies’s innings to maintain the hosts in verify within the first ODI in Lucknow. Shabnim Ismail was the destroyer-in-chief, with Three for 28 in her 10 overs, whereas each Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka conceded at lower than three runs an over, as South Africa squeezed their hosts, who didn’t handle a boundary after the 36th over.

At that time, Mithali Raj was nonetheless on the crease. Her 54th ODI half-century and eighth towards South Africa stored her general ODI common above 50 and laid the muse on which India might have constructed a difficult whole. Raj had two partnerships of significance – a 62-run stand fourth-wicket stand with Harmanpreet Kaur and a 52-run fifth-wicket partnership with Deepti Sharma – which helped India get better from 40 for 3, however they’d no different stands above 22.

India haven’t performed ODI cricket since November 2019, and final had any worldwide motion a 12 months in the past, on the T20 World Cup closing. Their lack of time within the center confirmed, particularly in comparison with South Africa, who’re with out common captain Dane van Niekerk however are contemporary off a house sequence towards Pakistan.

Sune Luus led them towards Pakistan as she is doing in India, and managed six bowlers – together with herself – pretty effectively. Kapp bowled one over lower than she might have and it may be argued that Nadine de Klerk was given one too many, however general South Africa had been disciplined and energetic of their effort.

Smriti Mandana began strongly with three boundaries off the primary six balls she confronted and seemed to be timing the ball effectively when she backside edged a Khaka supply that stored a contact low for Trish Chetty to take a great catch diving ahead behind the stumps. Within the subsequent over, Jemima Rodrigues acquired a vanguard towards Kapp and Lizelle Lee, at gully, dived to her left to seize the possibility.

India had been 18 for two when Raj arrived on the crease and her first run-scoring shot – a drive that bisected two cowl fielders – confirmed the calm her expertise brings. Her first two boundaries had been photographs of precision fairly than energy, which she left to Punam Raut, who over-reached. After reducing laborious to seek out the rope off Ismail, Raut was hurried right into a pull two balls later and top-edged to positive leg, the place Khaka took the catch.

That introduced collectively India’s most profitable pair, Raj and Kaur, who took them to the half-way mark. Kaur was the aggressor and pounced on any errors in size. She raced to a run-a-ball 40 and introduced up India’s 100 with a flat-batted swipe to long-leg. However within the subsequent over, Kaur went down the monitor in an try to loft Luus for six, however did not get sufficient on the stroke and hit it straight to Ismail at long-off.

Raj, who was on 26 off 50 balls on the time, was left to rebuild and accelerated her scoring fee barely. Her subsequent 24 runs got here off 34 balls and he or she reached her fifty with a single to deep sq. within the 38th over and would have wished to see India’s innings by way of. Two balls after the milestone nevertheless, she made the one placement mistake in her innings and hit Ismail to Laura Wolvaardt at level.

Her dismissal sparked a collapse that noticed India lose 4 wickets for eight runs in 40 balls. Sharma was bowled as she moved too far throughout making an attempt paddle and each Sushma Verma and Jhulan Goswami had been caught at level. India went into the final 5 overs on 160 for 8, and solely managed so as to add 17 runs to their rating.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent