India won bowling with a 3-0 victory in the ODI series against South Africa.
Disciplined performances by Ekta Bisht (3/32), Deepti Sharma (2/24) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/22) took India to the top with just six runs.
India captain Mithali Raj did not expect to be in the middle after only two overs. But Shabnim Ismail (2/18) and Marizanne Kapp (3/20) both hit their first overs to shake India off with 5/2. Raj and Punam Raut got together and negotiated the first powerplay without any further damage. Soon after, Ayabonga Khaka, the bowler with the first change, bowled Raut for 15 minutes.
The South African skipper Sune Luus was anxious not to seduce India’s thugs and used his bowlers in short bursts. Kapp returned for her third spell in just the 17th over, catching Luus’ opposite Raj for a 46-ball 11, notch reading 39/4. India went further into the swamp when Sharma (7) and Tanyia Bhatia (6) were sent to pack before they could build a significant partnership.
However, Harmanpreet Kaur kept the carnage and started to rebuild the innings with the help of Shikha Pandey. When Kaur (38) was blown off by Kapp 27 Overs after she arrived at the fold, she and Pandey had brought the score to 120/7 after sharing a 49-run partnership, the biggest in the game. Pandey, 35, followed Kaur into the locker room shortly afterward, letting the tail run a few more valuable runs before being thrown out for 146.
Wickets regularly dropped out for South Africa, none of the first five partnerships managed to reach 20, leaving them 63/5 behind the game. However, captain Luus (24) and all-rounder Kapp (29), who shared a 40-year partnership with the sixth wicket, provided some resistance.
What nail-biting win for India!— ICC (@ICC) October 14, 2019
South Africa were dismissed for 140 to lose by six runs, handing India a 3-0 series win. Jemimah Rodrigues' first international wicket sealed the victory ☝️ #INDvSA SCORECARD ⬇️https://t.co/1kSvxPNbUb pic.twitter.com/6D28EsEbIp
Smaller but important partnerships required only 10 runs when the eighth wicket fell. After all three of her star bowlers had left, it was difficult for Raj to make a decision. Kaur was an obvious option and she took the ninth wicket to bring India back to par. Eight runs required, one wicket left.
Openers Pandey and Joshi still had excess inventory, but both had been relatively expensive. So she turned to Jemimah Rodrigues instead. Bowling was in her 13-match ODI career just the second before. And it worked. Their sixth ball was blown up by Tumi Sekhukhune and Deepti Sharma finished the catch to win in six rounds.