Vadodara, Oct 15:
Spinners helped India pull off a thrilling six-run win over South Africa in a low-scoring third women’s ODI and complete a 3-0 series whitewash here on Monday.
India were able to defend a modest 146 by bowling out South Africa for 140 in 48 overs.
Spinners Ekta Bisht (3/32 in 10 overs), Deepti Sharma (2/24 in 10) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/22 in 10) were the architect of the win that reaffirmed India’s supremacy over South Africa, who also lost the preceding six-game T20 series.
It seemed South Africa would get their first win of the series when they bundled out India in 45.5 overs but another disappointing batting performance denied them the opportunity.
India made a disastrous start after winning the toss, losing openers Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrgues in the second over.
With the hosts reeling at 55 for five, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Singh steadied the innings with a 76-ball 38 with the other valuable contribution coming from Shikha Pandey (35 off 40).
Most of the batters, including captain Mithali Raj (11 off 46), failed to shift gears after getting settled, resulting in India posting a below-par total.
In the end, even that proved to be enough against South Africa who were on course for a comfortable win at 103 for five in the 30th over.
However, India fought back through their spinners and even part timers Harmanpreet and Rodrgues did their bit.
Rodrigues took the final wicket of the game to spark celebrations. It was also her first scalp in international cricket.
The three-match series was not part of the Women’s ODI Championship as both teams played that last year when India won 2-1.