Colombo, February 22: The Indian women’s cricket team on Tuesday registered a comprehensive win against South Africa in the final of ICC Women World Cup Qualifier 2017 at P. Sara Stadium in Colombo. Notably, India achieved the target of 245 runs on the last ball of the 50th over and remained unbeaten in this tournament.
Earlier, winning the toss South Africa opted to bat first and scored 244 runs in their 50 overs. There was no outright high run scorer with Soth Africa as everyone chipping in with scores in 30’s and 40’s but it was M du Preez top-scoring with 40 runs from 72 balls. Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up three wickets for India to finish with 3/51 from 9 overs spell. Shikha Pandey took two wickets.
In reply, Mona Meshram scored a half-century at the top of the order (59 runs from 82 balls) with Deepti Sharma top scoring with 71 runs from 89 balls. At one stage, India looked to be cruising to victory with 209/4 after 43 overs. But then India lost four wickets in the matter of 14 runs from two overs to throw away the advantage and draw unnecessary pressure at the death.
However, Harmanpreet persisted in the final over despite Poonam Yadav falling late on. But it was the six over deep midwicket on the fifth ball of the over and then a double on the last ball that sealed the deal. The celebrations said how much it meant to the team with Kaur hoisting her bat up in the air and then went on to hug her teammates in delirious celebrations.
Notably, South Africa had defeated India in a practice match ahead of this tournament but the latter prevailed in their fixture in the tournament proper, winning by 49 runs in the Super Six stage. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are the other teams to have qualified for this tournament to join Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies for the World Cup.