|File Photo: Shikha Pandey became the first Indian women to score a fifty and take three wickets in the same ODI|
Chasing 187, India sailed to a six-wicket win against South Africa to level the three-match ODI series 1-1 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. After claiming three wickets, Shikha Pandey returned to score a half-century in the chase. (Also Read: Report: Ind vs SA (Women), 3rd ODI)
Facing the modest total, Poonam Raut kept the home team on course after losing her opening partner Smriti Mandhana with 37 runs on the board and skipper Mithali Raj for six. However, the opener was claimed leg-before by Lee, three runs short of a half-century. With the team on 73 for the loss of three wickets, Harmanpreet Kaur joined Pandey in an effort to take the innings forward. (Also Read: Report: Ind vs SA (Women), 1st ODI)
Scoring at a quicker pace, the pair looked to close in on the target. Pandey, playing more aggressively than her partner was the first to reach her fifty and Kaur ably supported in building a partnership as India played to stay in the series.
With the home team 25 runs short of the target, Pandey was sent back by Marizanne Kapp for 59. With a little over ten overs left, VR Vanitha then took guard opposite Kaur as India inched towards the target.
Kaur remained unbeaten on 42 while Vanitha made 11 not out as they took the team across the line in the crucial encounter with 32 balls to spare.
Earlier, electing to field first, India restricted South Africa for 186 for the loss of eight wickets. Pandey and Ekta Bisht claimed three wickets as they claimed the top and middle-order after Jhulan Goswami gave the hosts their first breakthrough.
The senior pacer trapped Trisha Chetty leg-before in the ninth over to set the ball rolling. Couple of overs later Lizelle Lee was sent back by Pandey and followed up with the wicket of Nadine Moodley in her next. Striking at regular intervals the Indian bowlers kept the flow of runs in check. SA captain Mignon Du Preez and Dane Van Niekerk stitched a partnership to help put up a sizeable total on board. However, the partnership was ended with the former being run out for 36. Eight runs later Van Niekerk was castled by Bisht. Remaining unbeaten on 49, Chloe Tryon then saw the team through to their full quota of overs with the lower-order batsmen.
India Women 187 for 4 (Pandey 59, Kaur 42*) beat South Africa Women 186 (Tryon 49*, Pandey 3-19, Bisht 3-28) by six wickets