Mithali Raj lone batter standing, South Africa win 4-1


Lucknow, March 17

The Indian women’s cricket team suffered a third consecutive defeat to South Africa, going down by five wickets in the fifth and final One-day International to lose the series 1-4.

South Africa won the low-scoring game when they chased down India’s total of 188 for the loss of five wickets, with 10 balls remaining.

Mithali Raj, India Captain

‘We need camps’

Clearly, we do need some camps before series. We were underprepared, coming from a gap. The batting unit tried to improve consistently match by match. Our spinners need to improve. Other than the result, it’s been a good series for us — exposure for the young players, and opportunity to those players looking for rhythm.

India’s batting was poor, and it was only captain Mithali Raj’s unbeaten 79 that enabled the team to get past 150.

Chasing the modest target, Anneke Bosch (58) and Mignon du Preez’s (57) struck half-centuries to complete a comprehensive series victory.

Tough return

The series marked India’s return to international cricket after 12 months. They were naturally rusty to start with and by the end of the series, it is clear they have a lot of work to do if they want to be among the contenders for the World Cup early next year. The batting needs more firepower and the bowling concerns too need to be addressed as the spinners, traditionally India’s strength, struggled against South Africa.

South Africa’s chase got off to a disastrous start as the visitors lost their top three batters, including skipper Sune Luus (10), for just 27 runs.

Du Preez (57) and Bosch (58) stabilised South Africa’s run chase with a 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket before the Indian bowlers pulled things back, dismissing both in quick succession. — TNS, agencies

Brief scores: India 188 (Raj 79*; de Klerk 3/35); South Africa 189/5 (Bosch 58, du Preez 57; Gayakwad 3/13) 



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