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General News India outclass South Africa to clinch quadrangular series

Indian bowlers produced another clinical performance to set up a comfortable eight-wicket win against hosts South Africa in the quadrangular One-Day International series finale on Sunday (May 21). Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Yadav shared six wickets between them to shoot out the home side for a meagre 156 in the title clash before a century stand between skipper Mithali Raj and opener Punam Raut helped India clinch the title.

Raj, who became only the third women's player to complete a century of ODIs as captain, inserted South Africa in after winning the toss. And her bowlers did not disappoint. Senior pacer Goswami got the breakthrough early with an inswinger, trapping Andrie Steyn in front of the stumps before Ekta Bisht reduced the home side to 17 for 2, taking out wicketkeeper-bat Trisha Chetty for just six.

Stand-in skipper Sune Luus combined with former captain Mignon du Preez to resurrect with a 73-run stand for the third wicket. Luus raised the team's fifty in the 15th over and as the pair started to negotiate spin a little better, Raj resorted to her pacers. Shikha Pandey then opened her account to take out du Preez for 30 and South Africa's innings fell apart from there on.

Luus departed soon after her fifty, offering a simple catch to Goswami while attempting to pull Poonam. The next three wickets fell in successive overs, thereby washing away any hopes of a late recovery. A lowly 156 was all South Africa could manage, losing their final seven wickets for 39 runs.

India went into the lunch break with 23 for no loss but their chase suffered two early setbacks as well, as Deepti Sharma and Mona Meshram failed to contribute anything substantial. But Raut and Raj posted half-centuries each to ensure that, unlike their second league game against the hosts, India don't falter from a dominating position.

Raut switched gears as soon as she was joined by her skipper in the middle, to pep up the chase. The opener brought up her fifty, and that of the partnership with a boundary off Luus. Raj took her time to settle in but once set, marched on to her 46th ODI half-century. She brought up the hundred of the partnership with a boundary off Masabata Klass, in the 30th over. The skipper then smashed Nadine de Klerk to the midwicket fence to polish off the chase with 17 overs and eight wickets to spare.

Brief scores: South Africa 156 all out in 40.2 overs (Sune Luus 55, Mignon du Preez 30; Jhulan Goswami 3-22, Poonam Yadav 3-32, Shikha Pandey 2-23) lost to India (Punam Raut 70*, Mithali Raj 62*; Marizanne Kapp 1-22) by 8 wickets.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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