Indian captain Harmanpreet after a narrow win against South Africa

After her side’s victory over South Africa by four runs in a high-scoring match, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur said while 650 runs scored at both ends is an achievement for women’s cricket, the bowling line-up will have to rethink. Indian bowlers held their nerve and braved incredible centuries by skipper Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp to beat South Africa by four runs in a thriller in Bengaluru on Wednesday. With this win, India has won the three-match series 2-0.

Speaking about the match during the post-match presentation, Harmanpreet said, “Today both teams batted well, 650 runs is an achievement for women’s cricket, happy with the way both teams played today. We were on the right track with our batting, the ball did it a bit in the first few overs but when it got better we batted very well. But as a bowling unit we will have to rethink, today was a batting job but we can do better with the ball” Harmanpreet said that in the camp before the series bowled all the key batters and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana also told her that she is a “great bowler” and asked them to show faith and let her bowl.

“It was good to see her take a wicket. She has a lot of experience (on Deepti Sharma), she is someone who can always give us wickets. I said the same for her today, she got the big wicket of Kapp. I can clearly come to her, she has the skills,” she added. Speaking about her century, the skipper said: “I batted well in the first game but got out. “I didn’t want to give up, I decided not to give up, I went in early today, I had worked a lot, my mentality was positive and fresh and I executed my skills.”

At the match, SA chose to play first. India lost Shafali Varma (20) and Dayalan Hemalatha (24) early, but centuries from Mandhana (136 in 120 balls, with 18 fours and two sixes) and Harmanpreet (103* in 88 balls, with nine fours and three sixes) pushed India to 325/3 in their 50 overs. Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/51) was the best bowler for SA. In pursuit, SA were 67/3, but centuries from skipper Woolvardt (135* in 135 balls, with 12 fours and three sixes) and Marizanne Kapp (114 in 94 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes) took SA to the brink of a victory. But Pooja Vastrakar managed to defend 11 runs in the last over and left SA four runs short at 321/6 in their 50 overs.

India leads 2-0 in the series with a match to go. Kaur received the ‘Player of the Match’ award. (ANI)

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