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Mandhana, pace bowlers get India Women off to winning start in South Africa

Smriti Mandhana (right) played an outstanding innings
Smriti Mandhana (right) played an outstanding innings

India Women 213-7 (Mandhana 84) beat
South Africa Women 125 (Goswami 4-24) by 88 runs
First One-Day International in Kimberley

Smriti Mandhana scored a blistering 84 run knock in a pitch where all other players struggled to score while Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey shared seven wickets between them as India Women started their tour of South Africa with a convincing 88-run win in the first One-Day International to take a 1-0 lead.

The game which is also a part of the ICC Women's Championship saw India won the toss and elect to bat first.

Mandhana (84) and Punam Raut (19) gave a solid start of 55 runs weathering the South African new ball attack under testing conditions.

Ayabonga Khaka (2-47) provided the initial breakthrough for South Africa when she had Raut caught but Mandhana and Mithali Raj (45) struck together for a decisive 99 run stand for the second wicket, Mandhana went on to complete a quickfire half-century as India were placed comfortably at 154 for one in the 36th over.

Khaka brought South Africa back into the game with the wicket of Mandhana and that was the opening the home side wanted as Marizanne Kapp (2-26) claimed two wickets and effected a run out as well as India managed just 63 runs in the final 15 overs and lost six wickets as well. The target for South Africa was 214 runs.

Pandey (3-23) gave a head start to India with the new ball as she accounted for Lizelle Lee (3), Trisha Chetty (5) and Mignon du Preez (0) and had South Africa reeling at 23 for three.

Laura Wolvaardt (21) and Dane van Niekerk (41) were the only players to show some resilience but Goswami (4-24) cleaned up the lower order to dismiss South Africa for 125 runs. Mandhana was named the player of the match for her brilliant knock that set up the victory.

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