Deepti Sharma and Veds Krishnamurthy    Getty Images
Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy Getty Images

When India Women had lost solid players such as Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana for 10 runs, a total over 200 runs would have been far sighted. However, Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy counterattacked the South African bowlers and took India to 240 in the third and final ODI in Potchefstroom. South Africa, who started off with disciplined bowling, lost rhythm in the middle overs. They did bounce back in the final overs, grasping wickets at regular intervals. But nothing could stop the lower-order from going great guns. Mithali would be pleased that her concerns regarding the lower-order stepping up to the occasion were answered in a timely fashion.

As it happened

Electing to bat, India Women were certain of posting a humongous total on board as they did against Ireland in the same venue last year. India even made changes to the opening pair, bringing in Deepti Sharma at the top, replacing Punam Raut who put up a dismal show in the first two matches. However, misjudgement and soft dismissals got the better of Indian Eves. Smriti, who had thus far walloped 84 and 135*, went gone for nought. Shabnim Ismail handed breakthrough in the very first over with Laura Wolvaardt, taking an easy catch at cover.

Khaka, too, scalped her first in her third spell removing Mithali for 4. South Africa upped the ante with their fielding as well. Post Powerplay, the bowling as well as fielding erred. Harmanpreet was given a life when Dane van Niekerk dropped her on 3 at covers. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Harmanpreet took risk and scored occasional boundaries. The ones and twos also kept coming to keep the scoreboard ticking.

However, the going got tough for India. Change of bowling broke the 47-run stand between Harmanpreet and Deepti. Harmanpreet edged to Lizelle and was sent to the hut for 25. Veda then changed gear and accelerated the innings with flurry of boundaries. Tottering at 58 for 3 by the 18th over, India raced to the 100-plus mark in the next 10.

On the other hand, Deepti achieved another landmark in Potchefstroom. Last year she had scored the second-highest ODI score of 188; this time she completed 1,000 runs. Veda, meanwhile, scored her second consecutive fifty in the series. South Africa’s bowling looked nowhere close to the fiery start they provided at the beginning of the innings, allowing Veda and Deepti add 83 runs on board. Veda, however, mistimed her sweep shot only to find Andrie Steyn taking a blinder at fine leg.

Deepti continued from where Veda left and ensured India were on course to 200 runs. South Africa bounced back in the final overs, removing the dangerous Deepti for 79. Tyron made it 2 out of 2 grabbing Mona Meshram as well. Yet, India were very much in hunt and cameos from Shikha Pandey, Sushma Verma s took them to a commanding position.

As for the South Africa bowlers, Ismail dominated with a four-wicket haul while Tyron ended with 2 wickets.

Brief scores:

India 240 all out in 50 overs (Deepti Sharma 79, Veda Krishnamurthy 56; Shabnim Ismail 4 for 30, Chloe Tryon 2 for 48) vs South Africa Women