South Africa added salt to India’s wounds, recording a winning victory over the hosts in the fifth and final ODI for women with a low score to seal a 4-1 series here on Wednesday.
Mitali Raj played a captain’s shot, hitting a well-crafted 79, but it wasn’t enough to bring India to 188 overall. South Africa then rode Aneke Bosch (58) and Mignon du Prez (57) for half a century to pursue the goal in 48.2 over.
The series marks India’s return to international cricket in 12 months. They were naturally rusty to get started, and by the end of the series, they seemed to have a lot of work to do if they wanted to be contenders for the World Cup title early next year.
Quilting needs more firepower and bowling concerns must also be addressed as spinners, traditionally India’s force, are fighting South Africa.
The pursuit of South Africa began catastrophically, as the guests lost their first three bullies, including skipper Sune Luus (10), by only 27 runs.
Du Preez, 57, and Bosch, 58, stabilized South Africa’s chase with 96 partnerships for the fourth gate before Indian bowling pulled things back, rejecting both tests quickly.
At this point, South Africa was 131 for five, still needing 58 tracks in 13 overs to win.
While Bosch’s hammer was tied with eight fours and broke away from 70 balls, the du Prize was a little slower as he took 10 balls for his inning and hit only four limits in the process.
However, Marizane Cap (36 did not come out) and Nadine de Klerk (19 did not come out) made sure that there was no more hiccups, as the duo shared 58 undefeated runs for the sixth goal to lead South Africa home.
For India, left-handed Rajeshwari Gayakwad took three wickets, giving up only 13 runs out of his 10 overs.
Earlier, Mitali was directing India’s inning after India lost three early weekends with a 53-point board in the 13th. Together with Harmanpreet Kaur (30), who withdrew injured due to injury, Mitali shared 71 runs for the fourth goal before the first left the ground in the 31st.
India lost Priya Punia (18) early before India star Punam Raut (10) and Smrati mandhana (18) left in successive causes.
Dayalan Hemalata (2) and Sushma Verma (0) failed to provide much-needed support to Mitali, as the veteran Indian batter grew his second fifty in the series and 55th overall in 78 balls in the 38th.
Julan Goswami (5) and Monica Patel (9) also did not hinder the goal scorers, as Mitali supported the inning of India alone.
Debutant Chaluru Pratyusha (2) also failed to score as India fell to 176 in eight at the end of the 47th. Mithali was left blocked on the one hand, while India continued to lose weekends at regular intervals and was thrown in 49.3 overs.
De Klerk’s average pace was chosen by bowling for South Africa with three for 35.