South Africa followed the tour’s highest total to date with 267 and scored a brilliant win in the fourth ODI against India with seven wickets.
Openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt formed the basis for the innings that allowed Lara Goodall and Mignon du Preez to lead South Africa to a record win in India.
Punam Raut’s impressive stroke of 104 * runs from 123 balls with worthy contributions from skipper Mithali Raj (45) and Harmanpreet Kaur (54) lost India. India brought a total of 266/4 on board.
Previously, India got off to a shaky start when Smriti Mandhana left after bringing Shabnim Ismail’s ball straight to her knees. She became Ismail’s 150th victim in ODIs. Priya Punia was joined by Raut in the middle as the pair began to regain India’s innings. The 44-run stand on the second wicket was broken by Nondumiso Shangase.
Raj and Raut then came together at the crease and anchored India’s innings. They shared a partnership of 103 runs to increase the team’s score over 164. This also made Raj the first female cricket player to achieve 7,000 runs in ODIs. However, just five runs away from her half-century, she was caught by Ismail in the middle of Sekhukhune bowling.
Harmanpreet Kaur then got off to a quick start, hitting two limits in their first four deliveries. Both batteries then stepped on the accelerator. Kaur was the attacker, and Raut supported them on the other end. The pair partnered 88 runs in the course of which Kaur scored a quick 50 from just 33 balls before leaving for Sekhukhune. Shortly after Kaur was released, Raut launched her third century of ODI to help India achieve a competitive outcome.
South Africa got off to a flying start in the hunt for 267. Lee and Wolvaardt put down 59 runs in their first power play. The pair partnered up in a partnership of 116 for the inaugural wicket and brought up their respective half centuries.
Kaur was the bowler who managed to break the threatened partnership when she fired Lee LBW. Shortly thereafter, Wolvaardt also lost her wicket to Mansi Joshi.
After losing both openers, du Preez and Goodall pushed South Africa’s innings forward. They put in 103 runs for the third wicket and despite the gate from du Preez in the 45th round, they secured a comfortable victory to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.
The final ODI will be played in the same location on March 17th.