Indian women’s cricket team returned to action after a year as they faced South Africa at BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. The much-awaited return did not go to plan as the Indian team could only manage to post only 177 runs after being put to bat first. South Africa chased the total within 40 overs with 8 wickets in hand to win the series opener.
The last match India played was the 2020 WT20I World cup final against Australia and the last ODI match was way back in November 2019. South Africa on the other hand South Africa had a successful home ODI and T20I series against Pakistan earlier this year.
Sune Luus won the toss and elected to bowl first, Smriti Mandhana got off to a great start but soon lost her wicket. Skipper Mithali Raj scored a hard-fought fifty of 85 balls. Harmanpreet Kaur played a quickfire 40 of 41 balls, but other than that no other Indian batsmen got going. The Indians apart from Raj and Kaur failed to build a significant partnership. The tail managed to bat out 50 overs but the Indians could only reach 177 runs. South Africa comfortably chased the total thanks to a record 169 run opening partnership between Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt.
Prominent Performance -
Shabnim Ismail -
The right-arm pacer was the pick of the bowlers claiming the wickets of Poonam Raut, Mithali Raj, and Jhulan Goswami. Ismail gave away only 28 runs in her 10 overs while taking the 3 crucial wickets at important stages of the games.
The 2nd ODI between India and South Africa will take place on Tuesday in Lucknow. The hosts will look to bounce back strongly after a set-back as there are still 4 ODI’s and 3 T20I’s left to play.