Proteas Women fall agonisingly short of record run-chase against India

Proteas Women fall agonisingly short of record run-chase against India

Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp hit centuries but the Proteas Women fell agonisingly short of a record run-chase as they went down by four runs in the second ODI against India in Bengaluru.

In pursuit of India's 325-3, driven by Smriti Mandhana's 136 off 120 balls and Harmanpreet Kaur's 103* off 88 balls, the Proteas demonstrated resilience through Wolvaardt (135* off 135 balls) and Kapp (114 off 94) but ultimately fell short, finishing at 321/6 after 50 overs.

The Proteas opted to bowl first after Wolvaardt had won the toss but India navigated the opening spell as Mandhana set her stall out to bat through the innings.

Kaur then joined Mandhana, and the duo quickly found their rhythm, adding a 171-run stand for the third wicket.

Both batters raised their bats for their half-centuries, positioning India for a significant total.

Mandhana continued her stellar form from the previous match, racing to her second consecutive century, equalling a record seventh ton for India, before being dismissed by Nonkululeko Mlaba, leaving India at 271/3 in the 46th over.

Kaur and Richa Ghosh (25*) then added valuable runs in the final overs, with Kaur hitting two fours and a six in the last over to bring up her sixth career century, carrying India their formidable total after 50 overs.

The Proteas lost opener Tazmin Brits (5) early in the run-chase while Anneke Bosch (18) and Sunee Luus (12) also didn't contribute much as the visitors slipped to 67-3.

Wolvaardt found a strong partner in Kapp. The experienced duo showcased their skills, advancing South Africa's chase to 150 runs in the 31st over, with both reaching their half-centuries.

Kapp took on the role of aggressor while Wolvaardt anchored the innings, contributing a crucial 184-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Kapp raced to her third career century off 85 balls before being caught in the deep, leaving the Proteas 251-4 in the 43rd over.

Wolvaardt continued to score alongside Nadine de Klerk (28) and the skipper reached her eighth ODI century, and the Proteas took the match into the final over, needing 11 runs for victory.

With the match on a knife-edge, Pooja Vastrakar (2-54) picked up the crucial wickets of de Klerk and Nondumiso Shangase (0) in two balls before delivering a dot ball on the final delivery, securing a dramatic four-run triumph for India.