Debutant Priya Punia starred as India led the team to victory. She had stepped in for wounded Smriti Mandhana and set up India’s powerful eight-wicket victory over South Africa in the first ODI in Vadodara on Wednesday, October 9. Batswoman Priya Punia, who celebrated her debut with an unbeaten 75 to wrap the 165-run chase with 8.2 overs to spare.

South Africa grappled with the bat after winning the toss, and rolled out for 164 in 45.1 overs. It was a holistic bowling effort from India with Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav yielding the majority of wickets.

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India paced to success in 41.4 overs with openers Punia (75 not out off 124) and Jemimah Rodrigues (55 off 65) setting the grounds for a roaring victory. The three-match series is not a component of the Women’s ODI Championship.

Punia, who has performed in three T20 Internationals, got the opportunity to play her first ODI. This happened after star opener Mandhana was ruled out of the match because of a rupture on her right toe. The 23-year-old from Jaipur scored 8 boundaries.

Rodrigues was back to scoring runs after a lean spell in the past five-match T20 series and shared an 83-run platform with Punia. It was a second ODI 50 for the extremely gifted 19-year-old, who scored seven fours.

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It was also captain Mithali Raj’s first match for India since March. She became the first female to complete more than 20 years in international cricket, having made her career back in June 1999. Raj withdrew from T20s last month.

After Goswami caught Lizelle Lee on the first ball of the day, opener Laura Wolvaardt (39) and Trisha Chetty (14) attempted to stabilise the innings. From 89 for three, South Africa fell to 115 for seven. At the end, they did quite well to score 164, but it became an easy quest for the Indians. Marizanne Kapp scored the most for South Africa with 54 off 64 balls.

Vastrakar Replaces Mandhana

Pooja Vastrakar, the 20-year-old seam-bowling allrounder, has substituted injured Mandhana in India women’s ODI team for the ongoing matches facing South Africa. It has been determined that Mandhana could be out of action for some time.

Image: AFP/ Twitter

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Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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