Mignon du Preez (57) and Anne Bosch (58) starred with the bat as South Africa defeated India by five wickets in the fifth and final ODI here at the Ekana Cricket Stadium on Wednesday to take the series 4-1. Defending 188, spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad provided an ideal start to the hosts as she dismissed Laura Wolvaardt (0) and Lara Goodall (1) in quick succession.
Skipper Sune Luus and Mignon formed a 24-run stand for the third wicket, but the partnership was cut short by Dayalan Hemalatha in the 11th over, reducing Proteas to 27/3. Anne Bosch then joined Mignon in the middle and both batters mixed caution with aggression to revive Proteas innings and the duo kept on ticking the scoreboard. Both batters formed a 96-run stand but with Proteas 66 runs away from the target, the side ended up losing the wicket of Bosch (58) in the 34th over of the innings.
Immediately after, Mignon (57) was sent back to the pavilion by Gayakwad and this revived India`s hopes of winning the match. However, in the end, Marizanne Kapp (36*) and Nadine de Klerk (19*) ensured that the visitors did not suffer any more hiccups and Proteas recorded a victory by five wickets with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier, skipper Mithali Raj played a lone hand with a knock of 79 as India posted 188/9. Opting to bat first, the hosts got off to a bad start as the side was reduced to 53/3 in the 13th over.
Priya Punia (18), Punam Raut (10), and Smriti Mandhana (18) all failed to leave a mark with the bat. Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj then got together at the crease and the duo helped in reviving the innings but as soon as the hosts started to gain an upper hand, Harmanpreet (30) had to retire hurt.
This brought a further blip in the Indian innings as none of the other batters managed to stay at the crease for long and the bulk of the work was done by Mithali at one end. In the final few overs, Mithali kept chipping away at the runs from one end and as a result, India posted a decent total.
Brief Scores: India Women 188/9 (Mithali Raj 79*; Nadine de Klerk 3-35); South Africa Women 189/5 (Anne Bosch 58, Mignon du Preez 57; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 3-13).