Colombo, Feb 16 : Indian women’s cricket team qualified into the World Cup after they beat South Africa in the qualifiers by 49 runs. Mithali Raj, the Indian skipper led from the front, scoring an important half century and registered a comfortable 49 runs win over South Africa.
Both the teams had begun the ODI with four points in their tow, topping in their respective groups.India, leading the Super Six league with 6 points, has qualified into the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 as well as the ICC Women’s Championship along with South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Asked to bat first, India got off to a slow start, scoring only 14 off the first 10 overs but the complexion of the game changed once Raj came to the crease. She and opener Mona Meshram lifted the team’s score with a fine 96-run second-wicket stand to help put up a competitive 205 for eight. Raj scored 64 off 85 balls with 10 fours and Meshram got 55 off 85 balls with five fours and two sixes.
In response, South Africa suffered some early setbacks. They were reduced to 41 for three in the 19th over as openers Lizelle Lee (1) and Laura Wolvaardt (0) as well as former captain Mignon du Preez (15) could not do much. Pace bowler Shikha Pandey and left-arm spinner EktaBisht finished with four and three wickets respectively, as South Africa folded for 156 in 46.4 overs.
Mithali said, "The win today definitely eases the pressure on us, especially for the last match of the Super League against Pakistan. It also gives us time to assess what all we are not doing right so that we can improve on those aspects in the coming matches."
The qualifiers are taking place in Colombo, Sri Lanka until 21 February. The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 will begin in England this July.